Sarah, one of the founding members of our Next Generation Women's Collective, discovered in 2019 that she carries an altered BRCA1 gene which puts her at increased risk of several types of cancer. She is passionate about raising awareness of BRCA and ovarian cancer in particular. She has big plans for a project to do just that- and she needs your help!
Our Cancer Prevention Officer, Jo (who herself carries an altered BRCA1 gene) talked to Sarah about her new project:
What made you so keen to focus your energy on a project all about BRCA?
Following my BRCA1 diagnosis in 2019, I was already in my mid 30s and I started to feel overwhelmed with questions and anxiety about living with a heightened risk of cancer and how, if and when to approach preventative surgery. As part of the Ovarian Cancer Action Women’s Collective I want to create a resource that can help anyone making these tricky decisions around BRCA.
What will this project involve?
I do feel that the breast cancer risk and mastectomies gets a little more coverage than the ovarian cancer side. For this reason I have lined up some conversations this summer with various medical experts to talk about the ovarian cancer side of BRCA with a view to sharing a short film with our community later on this year. Hopefully I can get some answers to the many questions whizzing round our heads that can help everyone navigate things more clearly.
How can Ovarian Cancer Action supporters help you?
I definitely need your help! I want to be able to ask these experts the most important questions that impact us. I’d love to hear from anyone about the questions they had when they first went through genetic testing, or still have unanswered now. These could include questions around surgery itself, early menopause, fertility, or progress around early detection and screening etc.
Maybe you had genetic testing years ago and are only now at the age where you are thinking about ovarian cancer risk-reduction so have lots of new questions, or maybe you’re only going through it now and have concerns and not sure who to ask.
I hope with your help I can really get the most out of these conversations with experts and offer a resource to all the BRCA women out there, whatever stage they are at.If you have any ideas of questions that Sarah can include in her film, please email them to email@example.com by the end of June.