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This is an inspiring and informative interview with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D Florida) with Chris Matthews of MSNBC.
She describes how she had an early breast cancer detected, and also obtained genetic testing and discovered she was positive for the BRAC 2 gene. She was heading for a lumpectomy, but instead decided on double mastectomy after learning the results of genetic testing. The removal of the opposite breast was a strong consideration in her circumstance, even though it is an extreme form of cancer prevention, because she faced 65% odds of having a later recurrence in her normal (opposite) breast. Since she was BRAC2+, she also faced a high risk of developing ovarian cancer, so she elected to have her ovaries removed as another component of cancer prevention surgery.
This interview was a wonderful description of her decision-making, the impact of having genetic testing, and her resilience of working in a rigorous and public job even while she underwent 7 surgeries during a years time and kept her treatments private until the end of her treatment.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has introduced congressional legislation that would help younger women have better access for breast cancer screening and treatment at an early stage. Let’s hope this makes it to the President’s desk!
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also gave a great interview about counseling your children and how to deliver the news to young children. See “Congresswoman Shultz on Talking with Her Kids About Her Breast Cancer.”
Also, read the blogs about “Navigating Through the Complex Decisions of Breast Cancer Surgery”
and “Choosing Between a Mastectomy or Lumpectomy.”