Breast Cancer Striking Women In Their 20s And 30s

I hate cliches. This is the only one I find acceptable: knowledge is power.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 30 years old on February 29, 2012, I was completely in shock. I assumed the palpable lump I felt in my breast was a benign cyst and I had nothing to worry about. It literally took my breath away when a radiologist told me I had cancer. What I didn’t know at the time was that I was born with an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer, and up to a 40 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer.

I have a genetic mutation known as BRCA1. It stands for a “breast cancer susceptibility gene” — which is incredibly rare. Inherited BRCA1 mutations account for only 5 percent of breast cancer cases, and mutations are detected with blood tests.

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