BRAC Analisys: good or "mad" science

Discussion in 'Women's Issues' started by thadjock, May 14, 2010.

  1. thadjock

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    ok ladies here's your chance to educate a male:

    So the other day i was flipping through channels and landed on "a" Cable News Network and they were trying to explain everything about BRAC Analisys in the usual 63 seconds they spend on every story. In the segment there was a woman early 20s that was scheduled to have her breasts removed because the test was positive for whatever gene they've assigned a marker to for breast cancer, and i think her mother had gone through breast cancer too.

    the 20 something didn't have breast cancer, or even a precancerous lesion or even a suspicious lump...i repeat SHE DIDN"T HAVE BREAST CANCER and she was having both breasts removed! isn't that insane?

    is this a case of science just fucking with womens heads? if there was a genetic marker test for ball cancer first of all i wouldn't even want the test, and even if i knew i had the gene that might possibly make me likely to get ball cancer i would NOT go out and get my perfectly healthy nuts cut off!

    naturally the news segment didn't even touch on any of the questions i had so here's a few for the women who own breasts:

    1) have/would you have this test done?

    A) does just the existence of this test cause women to stress more about breast cancer? i mean even trying to decide whether you should get the test or not must be freaking out alot of women right?

    B) what would you do if you found out you had the gene? given the embryonic state of gene mapping, isn't it possible you might go through your whole life and never get breast cancer ?

    C) is this just a medical company marketing a product by tapping into women's fears? and could you really trust a doctor that recommends removing healthy breasts from a 20yo, based on the science of the day, i garauntee in 10 yrs they'll figure out that this is faulty science, i garauntee it. mark my words, write this down!
     
  2. petite

    petite New Member

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    I've heard of women doing this after discovering that they carry the gene, especially women who have lost multiple female family members to breast cancer. The link between the gene and women who develop breast cancer is strong. Maybe if only my mother died from breast cancer, I may not, but other women have lost many more female members of their families to breast cancer. If I lost my mother, an aunt, a few cousins, and a grandparent, then yes, I wouldn't hesitate. It's better than living my life in constant fear of dying a long painful death.
     
    #2 petite, May 14, 2010
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  3. thadjock

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    given your family history is there pressure on you to get tested?
     
  4. petite

    petite New Member

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    Cancer does seem to run in my family, but there's no history of breast cancer. So far, we also have good survival rates for cancer. My father and my uncle have both gotten cancer, but they're both survivors. Only one grandparent died from his cancer at the age of 75. My other two grandparents have lived to 90 and they're still alive. So, no pressure at all.

    If I opted for a masectomy, I'd get fake breasts. Sure that still leaves some breast tissue that could become cancerous, including the nipple, but it severely cuts down on the likelihood since most of the breast tissue is removed.
     
    #4 petite, May 14, 2010
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  5. HazelGod

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    Yup...a good friend of ours in her mid-late twenties had both her breasts removed in January of this year after having a BRCA analysis run. She fits the Jewish profile and has had family members develop cancer, so she opted to have the mastectomies performed.
     
  6. FRE

    FRE
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    I'm sure that for many women, that would be a wrenching decision. Our culture puts so much emphasis on physical characteristics, including the female breast, that many women undergo breast augmentation surgery at considerable expense and some risk. The problem is exacerbated by men (but not all men) who are attracted only to women who have large breasts. If our culture were not so obsessed with the size of the female breast, women would find it less traumatic to have breasts removed.

    Thadjock compared having breasts removed with having testicles removed. Although I can understand that line of thinking, it really is not the same thing. Testicles are glands of internal secretion which have far reaching effects on the whole body. Also, a man cannot reproduce without testicles. So, while having either removed could be traumatic, having testicles removed would actually have a greater effect on one's life.
     
  7. HiddenLacey

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    I'm torn on this. No one in my family has died from breast cancer, but everyone male and female has died from cancer or has had it and survived. I want to say that I would make the choice to just get early screening mammogram's if this ran in my family. But I've never been in the situation, so I can't say 100% what I would do. If I had to choose my life or my breasts I would pick my life.
     
  8. Embrace69

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    I don't have a family history of breast cancer, most is actually heart disease. BUT if I were to have the test and found out that I carried the gene for it, I really in all honesty probably would NOT chop my breasts off just because some test said I carried a gene for breast cancer. I may become more vigilant about BSE's and mammograms but to remove something perfectly harmless currently, no I can't say that I would opt for that.
     
  9. L_egit

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    This isn't mad science. Its people who have no idea what the science actually is that are delusional.

    Ogling sweater puppies isn't worth someone dying.

    I'll do massive disservice to what we know by oversimplifying but here's the basics on BRAC1&2. The BRACs are tumor suppressor genes, which means that in general they work to stop cancer from forming. Simple enough. When they're broken, tumors appear far more quickly and with far more certainty. Since humans are awesome, we carry 2 pairs of the majority of our genes, and sometimes even more for the high traffic ones. BRAC, therefore can be broken by random problems, but since you have another healthy copy, that copy can keep your cells from going cancer mode.

    In people who have a predisposition to cancer, typically an oncogene or a tumor suppressor gene is already mutated; Instead of requiring 2 strikes on a very tiny piece of DNA, now you need just 1. If the chances of getting a strike in that particular zone is 1 in 10,000, say, the person with 2 copies has a 1 in 100,000,000 chance to lose their tumor suppressor function whereas the person with a predisposition has a 1 in 10,000 chance.

    But that's not really the end of it. BRCA does more than just 'suppress tumors'. It has multiple roles. One is that it forms a gigantic protein robot that repairs DNA. So now, even if you get hit in the BRCA zone, the BRCA protein complex can solve the problem for you if you're lucky!

    In the cases where your DNA is too damaged and can't be salvaged, BRCA lights up the signal flares and causes the cell to kill itself (or get killed by immune cells) before it starts multiplying out of control.

    That's a HUGE amount of anti-cancer protection from one little gene family. Once you take it away it isn't a question of whether or not you'll get cancer; its a question of when.

    This isn't faulty science. This is one of the best known cancer pathways. Breast cancer has a disproportionately huge amount of cash thrown at it compared to even more dangerous cancers because saving tits is incredibly marketable to men (who love tits) and to women (who would rather not die). And as for outside interests and medical companies being the source of this? No. BRAC mutations are screened in an incredibly cost efficient manner compared to other cancers because of the existence of certain marker antibodies that are produced in response. Additionally, unlike the typical darlings of pharma (high blood pressure, for instance), breast cancer is not a chronic condition, not will women undergo chronic mastectomies. Medical companies would much rather that you shell out 1k per year for 40 years than have you go under the knife for an operation that costs 2k and that completely cures you.
     
  10. need2bsexy2

    need2bsexy2 Active Member

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    My mother died of cancer at 80. She had one breast removed at 60 because of cancer and the other breast removed at 75 because of cancer. She survived for 5 more years and died of stomach and bone (spine) cancer. The threat is that cancer, once started, moves throughout the body, it doesn't stay in one place.
     
  11. Not_Punny

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    I think women removing their breasts just because of BRAC is ridiculous.

    Heck, why not remove your lungs, brain, liver, throat, uterus, colon and everything else that could develop a tumor --- having BRAC doesn't guarantee that your boobies are the ONLY thing that will get cancer.
     
  12. L_egit

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    People actually do have their uterus removed if the cancer cannot be contained prior to metastasis in any other way. Sections of colons are removed in advanced colorectal cancer. The worse the cancer, the more gets chopped out. Same goes with sections of the liver.

    On the topic of the liver; Cirrhosis and hep c infection cause cancer which is typically remedied by a transplant; livers are completely removed in the most extreme cases too.

    So people actually DO remove those things once the onset of cancer occurs.

    Well, with the exception of the brain. Removing the entire brain is certain death. Tits don't have that same importance.
     
  13. petite

    petite New Member

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    You have to see this issue from the perspective of a woman who has grown up watching the women in her family die from cancer. Cancer is a horror to live with, because it can take years and years to kill and growing up in a family where it plucks the women off one by one would make any woman terrified that she will be next. If it were my family and I carried the gene, I would have to do something proactive for my own peace of mind, so I could live a life without fear.
     
  14. HazelGod

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    Pfft...says you.
     
  15. Bbucko

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    Back in the late 70s, my aunt (who was prone to cysts in her breasts anyway) had an elective double mastectomy after my grandmother's bout with breast cancer, but she was in her 50s, not her 20s. She's still alive, very active and (near as I know) has never had an issue with cancer of any type.
     
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