BARACK & BRCA ?
Dear President Obama,
Thank you for your Presidential Proclamation declaring September National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. I respectfully request that you go one step further and personally help propel ovarian cancer "awareness" to an even higher level --"saving lives." You have a personal family history of cancer. If you were to undergo the genetic counseling process and share the importance of genetic counseling itself, you would provide an immeasurable amount of "awareness" and save countless lives.
There are red flags in your family medical history. I feel compelled to write to you about this and stress the importance of talking to a genetics expert. Perhaps you have already talked to one? If you have not, it would make sense for you to do so; undergo genetic counseling. The genetics expert/counselor is the one who deems what genetic testing (if any) makes sense for you. The genetic counselor is a trained expert who helps you understand your personal cancer risk, helps guide you on the health screenings that are right for you, and what it all means for your family.
Your mother died of ovarian cancer at age 52. There are some reports that say she had both ovarian AND uterine cancer; two separate primary cancers. The book "A Singular Woman" by Janny Scott indicates your grandfather (mother's father) had prostate cancer. Please pay attention to these red flags--signs of hereditary cancer. When it comes to hereditary cancer, knowledge can save lives; knowledge is power. With hereditary cancer knowledge, you could save your own life, the lives of countless others, and even the lives of those you love.
A shift needs to happen. A shift from "awareness" to saving lives.
Please help make this shift happen.
Amy Byer Shainman
Hereditary Cancer/BRCA Advocate
BRCA1 positive previvor