Chances are you already know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. That’s because breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death for women in the United States - claiming approximately 42,000 women and 500 men yearly.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. In 2023, an estimated 297,790 women and 2,800 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.
In what the media has called “The Angelina-Effect,” – early testing and detection of the BRCA 1 or 2 Gene has become a blessing for thousands of women and men hoping to rid themselves of the mutation before developing the disease.
In 2020, actress Angelina Jolie publicly announced that she would undergo surgery to remove both breasts after inheriting the mutant gene from her mother and grandmother. Her choice has hugely impacted early BRCA genetic counseling and genetic testing.
To have a mastectomy or amputation of the breasts is a frightening yet brave choice that so many have made to save their lives and reduce their chances of developing breast cancer.
In order to help bring awareness to this devastating disease, PHM is sharing the journey of a few brave women who tested early for the BRCA gene mutation and chose to have a mastectomy. They are speaking up to help other women faced with the same diagnosis, who have the same fears, and the same concerns they had when considering this procedure as a form of preventative treatment.
Amber Boyette-Gonzalez, 44
Royal Palm Beach FL
Age at Time of Procedure: 42
Type of Procedure/s: Nipple Sparing Reduction/Lift, Double Mastectomy with Expanders, Expander to Implants, and Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy for Hysterectomy.
Allison Rothwell, 41
Administrative Assistant/Actor/Declutter Coach
Age at time of surgery: 38, 39
Procedure/s: Double Mastectomy at age 38 and a full hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy at age 39.
Sarina Sweeney, 40
Age at time of procedure: 35
Procedure/s: Bilateral mastectomy, implant reconstruction, total hysterectomy, and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy