Whenever I meet other young women with breast cancer, I’m sad and happy at the same time.
I hate knowing they had to experience this horrible disease but I’m happy it brought us together as sisters.
That feeling was magnified by the hundreds this past weekend at OMG! Cancer Summit for Young Adults in Las Vegas, where around 450 young cancer survivors and supporters networked and discussed, cried and laughed. We learned about how cancer treatments leave us all with lasting effects and how the doctors who care for us try to balance that with the quality of life concerns for people who haven’t had a mid-life crisis yet.
In this piece, my colleague, friend and survivor sister Kathy O’Brien writes in The Star-Ledger about two little-known genetic tests that can help women assess their breast cancer risk.
Kathy and I had discussed one of the tests, the BART test, after I learned that it is not part of the standard BRCA test screening process for someone who doesn’t have a family history of breast cancer.
The BART test typically looks at genetic structures differently than BRCA.
Think of it this way: while BRCA is like a computer spell-checker program that looks for the equivalent of misplaced letters in the genetic code, BART is more like an editor who examines whether or not whole chapters are missing from the book.