Tag Archives: breast cancer treatment

Two Important Genetic Tests Can Help Women Assess Breast Cancer Risk

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.

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A lot of my survivor sisters who are undergoing chemo ask me how long it’ll take their hair to grow back. Doctors say that the answer varies from woman to woman but after I finished chemo in August, I started taking photos of my hair each week to chart its progress of re-growth. The video above is three months of hair growth condensed into just over a minute – and I hope it inspires those of you who are fighting and serves as a reminder that there is light – and, yes, some hair follicles, too – at the end of the long, dark tunnel that is chemo.

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