Rhode Island Monthly Breast Health 2014 : Page 9

SPECIAL ADVER TISING SECTION A Personal Decision » continued from page 112 are well-educated. He noticed that several female relatives had been diagnosed with breast and ovarian who chose two paths after their lives were altered for-cancers, and through casual conversations with a friend ever with a blood test. who works in the medical fi eld, Mark decided to seek Joelle thought she was fi nally going to have peace genetic counseling. The test came back positive for the of mind because she won the battle to have prophy-BRCA2 gene mutation. Mark fi rmly believes that knowl-lactic mastectomies. She had strong family histories on edge is power and sharing knowledge is empowering. both sides and her fi brocystic disease, resulting in numer-He immediately told his brothers and sisters and encour-ous biopsies over the years, consumed her. She had aged them to be tested. been having regular mam-None of them chose to be mograms since age twenty-tested until a few years later seven and believed it wasn’t when one of his sisters was a matter of ‘if’ she got breast tested before undergoing cancer, it was a matter of they breast reduction surgery. Her ‘when.’ So, after much back positive result led to prophy-and forth between doctors were tested. Interestingly, Mark’s son lactic mastectomies and a and her health insurance, tested positive and his daughter hysterectomy, which re-she underwent bilateral mas-vealed she had early stage tectomies and thought she tested negative. ovarian cancer. had dodged the breast can-When Mark’s son and cer bullet, until the surgical daughter came of age, they pathology revealed she had were tested. Interestingly, Mark’s son tested positive and breast cancer. his daughter tested negative. After she completed her cancer treatments, she was Mark has not taken any prophylactic measures, but tested for the BRCA mutation and the positive result he does have annual mammograms and maintains a prompted her parents to get tested. It was determined healthy lifestyle in order to reduce his risk of cancer. her mother carried the mutated gene. It’s easy to voice an opinion on what a person should Joelle felt she needed to be tested for her children’s do if he/she carries the BRCA gene mutation, but yelling sake, and that’s exactly how Mark felt, a successful at-from the sideline and actually playing the game are two torney and father of two. completely different things.  Mark comes from a big family and his seven siblings When Mark’s son and daughter came of age, BREAST CANCER? YOU HAVE OPTIONS… In practice since 1997 FIND OUT ABOUT BREAST RECONSTRUCTION POSSIBILITES. Board Certifi ed Plastic Surgeon with extensive experience in Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Caroline Plamondon, M.D. 1 Randall Sq., Suite 408, Providence, RI 02904 401-272-6602, DrPlamondon.com 114 RHODE ISLAND MONTHLY l OCTOBER 2014

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