If you or someone you love is considering genetic testing for breast cancer, you must read Aliyah Baruchin’s article, “ In Breast Cancer, There Is a Single Agenda: Stay Alive ” from last week’s NY Times. She eloquently writes about her experience, illustrating the complexity women face when considering the BRCA test.
“I was petulant about BRCA testing from the moment it was first mentioned to me,” she begins.
After I had a mastectomy, though, the idea of more surgery became unmanageable. Losing a breast was extraordinarily difficult. The body wants its own coherence; it objects, in the most strenuous terms possible, to any structural loss. No more parts for sale to the lowest bidder, was all I could think afterward. Everything else I have, I want to keep.
But here’s the important thing, the thing I learned that changed me for good: in practical terms it was all bluster. I was 43, a working journalist, with a 3-year-old daughter and a remarkable husband. Of course I was going to be tested.
Every woman makes her own choice. For me, I agree with Ms. Baruchin when she says, “This is a disease for which there are options. In that situation, information becomes the only game in town.”