“My beautiful mum Ilana was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the end of 2014, just before her 50th birthday.
It wasn’t luck that saved her, it was her pure awareness of her own body. She felt like something wasn’t quite right, and headed straight to the GP. No messing around. This meant that the cancer was caught early, saving her life.
Since many women in our family have had breast and ovarian cancer, including her late sister, mum was tested for the BRCA1 gene mutation by recommendation of her oncologist. She tested positive, which meant my sister Karni and I had a 50% chance of carrying the gene mutation as well. A few months later we were tested and we were told that we were also carriers of the gene.
A woman’s risk of developing cancer is increased by 72% for breast cancer and 44% for ovarian cancer if she inherits a BRCA1 mutation. This meant that we had to be extra careful and vigilant, undertake regular yearly scans and self-checks.
In February 2017, our world came crashing down again. My sister Karni, at the super young age of 24 was diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer just days after her yearly scan. Knowing her risk and making sure she attended those regular scans was crucial in Karni’s early diagnosis. Yes she had a rough year ahead of her, but she was going to be OK.
Watching my brave mum and sister undergo chemotherapy has been enough to promise myself I will do anything and everything in the name of prevention.
So here are some tips for you frankfurts who are worried about your own risk of breast and ovarian cancer:
- Take your mumma out for a coffee. Bring dad too!
- Ask them if they’re aware of any history in the fam for breast and ovarian cancer.
- Check yo’self: you know your own body more than ANYONE else, if something feels a bit odd or you’ve noticed any changes, give your GP a visit.
- Talk to your BFFs: You’d be surprised how much sharing your story could help others.
- Get educated: Head to Pink Hope and learn about your risk.
- Use the ‘know your risk’ tool to measure your risk.
frankfurts, for the month of September I’m giving all the cash from Lip Duo sales to Pink Hope: a charity that’s all about preventing and supporting babes who are at risk of breast and ovarian cancer. All the deets are here.