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THE BRCA GENE AND PROPHYLACTIC MASTECTOMIES
Shopgirl`s Argument
Shopgirl
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So in last sundays ny times was an article about a 33 year old women undergoing a prophylactic mastecotmy to reduce the risk of her developing breas cancer. Note she is cancer free, but after testing positive for the BRCA gene, a mutation that greatly increases a womens risk of developing breast cancer (and ovarian cancer) the women decided to take the preventative step and get her breasts removed. Obviously this is a major life decision. Opting to undergo serious surgery to prevent a disease that may never materialize is a step not carelessly taken. However, I feel that the greatly increased risk of developing the cancer is enough of a reason to opt for the mastectomy.

Epicurus`s Argument
Epicurus

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This decision is a life altering one and should be weighed heavily before being made. I would like to lay out some reasons why a person would decide not to get a mastectomy to show that it is not a necessary procedure just because you test positive for the BRCA gene.
1. while existence of the gene increases risk, it does not mean all carriers will get the cancer. You still have chance of not developing the disease.
2. frequent testing and observation can catch breast cancer in its earlier stages, and have a great shot at curing it.
3. having a mastectomy means you will not be able to do things that can have serious psychological effects (like losing the ability to breast feed).
What I hope I have shown is that it is not necessary to have a prophylactic mastectomy just because you test positive for the BRCA gene...

Case Information
Views: 1066

Rating 5.00 (1 total):
80% of People thought Epicurus was Wrong (5 total votes)
Category Health & Medicine
Case was closed on October 11, 2007 18:38
Tags: BRCA, breast cancer, ny times, ovarian cancer, cancer
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