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This is an inspiring and informative interview with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) and Robin Roberts of Good Morning America. She shares her experience and discusses how she approached her children about her disease. I would recommend this to cancer patients as one approach to talking with your children about their cancer without it being a threatening, fearful experience.
Schultz reveals that she had her first mammogram at age 40, which was normal, but then found a lump in her breast a year later that turned out to be a breast cancer. There were many considerations that she discusses about her surgical treatment options, about the impact of her genetic testing and about the timing of telling her children, 9-year-old twin girls and a 5-year-old boy. 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.