New cancer study helps women prevent Ovarian cancer - News, Weather & Sports

New cancer study helps women prevent Ovarian cancer

X-Rays for a woman's body. X-Rays for a woman's body.

At just 23-years-old Gabrielle Brett tested positive for a mutation of the BRCA1 gene. 

"I think initially pretty shocking because you feel like you have a mark on you, a death sentence that at some point in my life I'll get breast or ovarian cancer," says Brett. 

Now there are specific numbers about increased risks that were released in a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

University Hospitals Dr. Robert Shenk is a breast surgeon at the Seidman Cancer Center. He says this study warns that after age 35 the risk of BRCA1 positive women getting ovarian cancer nearly quadruples by 40 years old.

"The key thing with a BRCA1 mutation is there is a risk of one percent of getting ovarian cancer up to age 35. Goes to 4 percent by age 40 and age 50 and older goes to about 15%," Dr. Shenk said.

So at 29-years-old, Gabrielle Brett had her breasts removed. Then she had her children. Then in October she also had doctors take her ovaries out.

"It gives me a tool to create a plan going forward," Brett said. "I realized it was really an opportunity to do something with the information."

"This study is important because now we can along with other data tell them pretty well what their risk is at any age level and what risk they're willing to take or not take," says Dr. Shenk.

"I think my great aunts didn't have this knowledge and tools available and left behind these beautiful families and kids and missed out on so much," says Brett. 

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