Understanding BRCA – Living With The Breast Cancer Gene

Clarissa Foster

From: £5.99

Whether you have just been diagnosed as being a BRCA carrier, know someone affected or suspect you might be considered high risk, this book offers a wealth of information, interspersed with one lady’s incredibly brave journey.

Niki Petrie, Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

A shared approach to risk-reduction involving patients and their doctors is essential. Reading this book places the patient and their family support in an ideal position to achieve that.
Mike Tyler, Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Do you have a close relative who has died from, or is experiencing, aggressive breast, ovarian or prostate cancer? Have they been tested for the BRCA gene mutation? Have you?

At the age of 35 and following the death of her mother from ovarian cancer, Clarissa Foster was found to carry a harmful mutation in the BRCA2 gene which drastically increased her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. She searched for a book that would help her to understand the full extent of what it meant to carry a harmful mutation, the options available to her to lower her risk and, most importantly, how it would feel to undergo risk-reducing surgery. Finding nothing that answered her needs, she set about reading all the available medical literature and liaising with relevant medical professionals to answer her questions. This book is the result of that research and of the decision she took based on it – to have a bilateral mastectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy. Within the context of her own painful experience of family cancer and of elective surgery, Clarissa explains what the BRCA mutation is, what it signifies, what the individual’s choices are and what the fall out can be in terms of a woman’s body image, identity and sexual functioning.

Author, Clarissa Foster, was awarded the Beryl Bainbridge First Time Author Award at the 2019 People’s Book Prize.  

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How it began / The history of BRCA / The science / The effect of BRCA gene mutations / Misconceptions about the BRCA gene / The evolutionary advantage of the BRCA mutation / Cancer / Breast cancer / Male breast cancer / Ovarian cancer / Fallopian tube cancer / Uterine cancer / Prostate cancer / Genetic counselling / Managing your risks / Screening / Chemoprevention / Risk-reducing surgery / Survival impact / Importance of healthy diet and lifestyle / Other BRCA associated cancers / A personal journey

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About the Author

Clarissa Foster is a qualified Human Biology teacher at FE level and an experienced writer for the pharmaceutical industry. She is also a health blogger and an ‘expert patient’ in relation to the BRCA mutation. To produce this book she has worked with Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist, Alasdair Drake and Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, Michael Taylor.

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