PROTECT YOURSELF

Risky gene carriers must first be aware of their situation before they can take action

Genetic testing

Researchers have not yet discovered all the genes that, if mutated, cause this type of hereditary cancer but they have discovered many.  If you do not qualify for insured genetic testing service, it is important to choose a private service that uses a full gene panel and includes qualified genetic counselling to interpret the results.  If you have previously returned a negative result, you may want to consider being re-tested with a newer gene panel.  Learn more

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Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes in the form of reducing exposure to toxins, incorporating a healthy diet and participating in regular exercise have been well proven to reduce the incidence of cancer.  If you carry a gene mutation that increases your risk of cancer it makes even more sense to reduce cancer triggers and make sure your body is running at optimal level.   Learn more 

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Early cancer screening

Cancer screening will not actually reduce your risk of cancer.  The goal is to find a cancer as early as possible, when treatment is likely to be most effective.  Early screening for female risky gene carriers usually begins at the age of 25 and for male carriers at the age of 40.  Learn more



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Cancer risk reduction options

Chemoprevention and surgical cancer risk reduction options are available for risky gene carriers who are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer.  This also includes male carriers who may be interested in pursuing surgical intervention for hereditary breast cancer but to date there are no recommended prevention interventions for hereditary prostate cancer.   Learn more

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Risk reduction options are effective, but can cause a variety of side-effects that require support

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Complications

Chemoprevention, preventative and cancer surgeries all come with side-effects and a risk of complications.  Learn more

Fertility

Hereditary cancer treatments and chemoprevention drugs are often used to reduce estrogen in the body, which causes menopause in younger women that may or may not be reversible.  Surgical intervention for an active ovarian cancer or to prevent it causes irreversible menopause.  In many cases, a woman's eggs can be retrieved prior to treatment or surgery and frozen for later use. Learn more

Early menopause

Early menopause causes a wide range of possible side effects.  In some cases, symptoms can be eased with the use of hormone replacement therapy.  Learn more

Emotional

As a risky gene carrier, fear for loved ones and oneself can be overwhelming. Many risky carriers grew up experiencing multiple losses due to hereditary cancer.  Due to the nature of hereditary cancer, young mothers are hardest hit, devastating families and far too often leaving young children motherless. We know the decision to submit to genetic testing is frightening, and in the case of a positive result there is often a long and arduous journey through screening and/or cancer risk reduction options.  We also know the lack of awareness about risky genes means there is not always support from those around carriers for the tough choices they face.  We also know that far too many carriers don't escape a hereditary cancer diagnosis and the extreme trauma that goes along with it.  We are here for you 

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