Health

iReporters: BRCA gene not a death sentence

Updated 5:18 PM ET, Thu October 25, 2012
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"There is a sad lack of research on teen and young adult cancers and survivorship," Cara Scharf says. "That negatively affects how young adult cancer patients are treated and then followed after treatment. You can make a difference for future generations by participating in research now." Courtesy Cara Scharf
"It's OK if you are mad, frustrated and angry by this," Amy Shainman says. "However, knowledge is power and ultimately, it's best to share this information with you so that you may make the best health care decisions for yourself in your life." Courtesy Amy Shainman
"I feel like I have taken control over something so profound: my health, my potential future," Erin Molenhouse says. "I'm superexcited about this process and hope to inspire someone else to get tested for this gene." Courtesy Erin Molenhouse
"I want to encourage others that have a history of breast cancer in their family to be proactive in their prevention and get the test done," Eryn Powell says. "You don't have to run to the doctor and have immediate surgery, but you can know what you're up against and take the necessary steps to secure your future." Courtesy Eryn Powell
"The fear I felt finding out I was BRCA positive was inexpressible," Lisa Fassnacht says. "I felt isolated and ashamed until I came in contact with other BRCA previvors through BRCA support groups. ... Knowing there are others out there with the same fears and emotions is a huge relief that I am not alone." Courtesy Lisa Fassnacht
"Going through this journey has brought out my positive energy and I hope others will share it as well," Tobey Young says. "Don't let life bring you down. Always focus on the positive not the negative." Courtesy Tobey Young