Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
Earlier this year, actress Angelina Jolie underwent a radical bilateral mastectomy after learning she was a carrier for the BRCA1 gene mutation. Before her decision, Jolie had an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer by the time she reached age 70; women positive for BRCA1 and BRCA2 also have a 44 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer. For the Hollywood star, health and longevity superseded vanity.
Jolie’s mother died from ovarian cancer at the age of 56 in 2007. This family history prompted the actress to consider screening and take surgical action with her motivation her young children she wants to watch grow.
You don’t have to be a celebrity to get Jolie’s treatment. In Acadiana, BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene testing is just as important to local women (and men). Research shows 7 percent of breast cancer and 11-15 percent of ovarian cancers are caused by mutations in these genes, according to Myriad Genetics, one of the leaders in hereditary genetic testing. While women are the primary target for breast cancer, men can also develop the illness, and both can be candidates for testing.
Dr. Henry J. Kaufman IV, a surgical oncologist and general surgeon, treats an array of patients in his practice, but a majority of his cancer patients have breast cancer. Kaufman has practiced since 2005 at Lafayette General Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center and Park Place Surgical Hospital and has screened many of his patients for genetic mutation. He follows the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines: any of his breast cancer patients under age 50 with a primary relative having a history of breast cancer or those under age 45 with breast cancer receive the test no matter their family history. In both instances, most insurance companies will cover the minimally invasive lab test of an oral swab.
Many of Kaufman’s patients test negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2, but he recalls a few years ago a female patient in her 30s testing positive for the mutation. Although the patient followed the initial plan of care — a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy — the test results, which came later, prompted her to also undergo a more aggressive bilateral mastectomy with immediate surgical breast reconstruction. “We were able to take care of the cancer and then take care of her emotions and allow her to make the best decision,” Kaufman says. Later, the patient decided to undergo a removal of her ovaries and continues to receive colonoscopies to monitor her increased chances of developing ovarian or colorectal cancer.
According to Kaufman, there is also a trend to monitor BRCA1/BRCA2-positive patients for development of pancreatic cancer. “The biggest misconception is BRCA1 and BRCA2 [screening] is just for breast cancer — it’s a defect in a cancer suppressing gene,” stresses Kaufman. According to Kaufman, anyone meeting the NCCN guidelines whose cancer predates the BRCA1 and BRCA2 screening should also be tested.
“A woman now in her 50s might have had breast cancer in her 30s before [genetic testing]. She should consider testing to help herself and possibly her offspring,” Kaufman says.
In other words, it’s never too late to detect possible mutations from a past cancer to help loved ones prevent future cancers thanks to improvements in genetic research.
• Have you had breast cancer at age 50 or younger?
• Have you had ovarian cancer at any age?
• Are you a male who had breast cancer at any age?
• Are you of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and have a family history of breast, ovarian or pancreatic cancer?
• Two cases of breast cancer in the same person or on the same side of the family
• Someone diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at any age
• Someone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and a hereditary-associated cancer (same person or on the same side of the family)
• Three or more family members with breast cancer on the same side of the family
• Any family member who tested positive for the BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation
Source: Myriad Genetics
Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
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Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
Saints fans were to gather, make merry, eat/drink compliments of a new Downtown group and watch the Saints beat Carolina and claim 1st place in the NFC South. But...
Three bedroom traditional or four bedroom traditional in Lafayette
Our fav dress for all seasons
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram doesn't see his dramatic spike in production as any sort of validation.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing off one last time with her two main Republican challengers before next week's election.
Shoppers familiar with Louisiana-based Rouses Market might be surprised when they walk into the new third location set to open at the Corner of Johnston Street and Duhon Road south the Acadiana Mall on Wednesday.
Noted architect and co-founder/principal of Architects Southwest receives highest honor given to former student.
Know an innovator, job creator and visionary with a penchant for hard work? We want to know that person.
He’s pulling for Knezek and Hidalgo on his end of the parish but issued endorsements in three other districts as well.