After being diagnosed with ovarian cancer eight years after her breast cancer diagnosis, Adele was encouraged to have genetic testing.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. I didn’t think I was at risk at all. I was the first person in my family that I knew of to have it.
I decided that it was bad luck but as I was a lucky person, that that would be it for me and cancer.
After eight years I was diagnosed again. It took longer to work out that I had ovarian cancer than my entire journey from diagnosis through to treatment with breast cancer.
It started with a pain in my left buttock radiating all the way down my calf. I was told that I had sciatica and the specialist recommended Pilates.
I started to need the toilet every hour. I was getting constipated and even though I was dieting and exercising, I was losing weight from my hips but putting it on around my waist. Strangely, my belly button was very sore.
After eighteen months I asked for a smear test. I incorrectly assumed that a smear would discover all female gynecological cancers but I was wrong.
After I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, they said that most people don’t get two completely different cancers without some kind of genetic involvement.
In January 2008 I found out that I had the BRCA gene mutation. I realised that it was a can of worms for my family members as they could have it too.
I immediately wrote to them to tell them that I had the mutation and now my sister and brother have taken action. I would encourage all women to ask if anyone in their family has had cancer. You could find out that you’re at risk."
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