Having Breast Cancer Saved My Life

My mother had breast cancer at age 34, so I began getting yearly mammograms when I was 30. Every year they were clear, and by the time I was 50 I thought I was home free. Then, in 2009 at age 54 I had a mammogram that revealed a small DCIS in my right breast. I had a needle biopsy, then a lumpectomy followed by mammosite radiation therapy. I was very lucky that the tumor was only 3mm and the oncologist determined I did not need chemo. Because of my family history I had genetic testing that revealed I had the BRCA1 mutation for breast and ovarian cancer. Finding this small tumor ultimately may have saved my life. I decided to have a hysterctomy and bilateral mastectomy with tram flap reconstruction while I was healthy and cancer free. I needed to take control of my life and my health and I did. My doctors say I still have a 10% chance of a reoccurance of breast cancer, but that is a lot better than the 80% chance I had without the mastectomy. My husband, family and friends have been so supportive and best of all, my daughter has tested negative for the mutation. I am truly blessed.
Debbie Frare
Orlando, FL