Saltney woman, 35, who underwent mastectomy to reduce cancer risk may have to remove her ovaries

Reporter:

David Humphreys

A woman who already underwent a mastectomy to reduce her cancer risk may have to remove her ovaries.

Carla Atherton, from Saltney, discovered she had a BRCA gene mutation from her father’s side of her family and immediately requested a mastectomy to reduce the risk of cancer.

Carla, 35, who is hoping to start a family, is now considering removing her ovaries as a further preventative measure.

National charity Ovarian Cancer Action released their cancer prevention report at Westminster last month and is calling for BRCA testing to be made more accessible to people potentially at risk of carrying the gene mutation.

Carla said: “If I’d never known about this gene mutation, it’s very likely I would have developed breast cancer.

“I owe my life to the NHS and my surgeons who have helped me take preventative action.

“I’m super nervous about the removal of my ovaries and being put into an early menopause as a result, but what’s the alternative?

“I have up to a 60 per cent chance of getting ovarian cancer; doing nothing is a risk I can’t take.

“I can also take measures to ensure I don’t pass my mutation down to any future children I may have.

“Knowing that this faulty gene will stop with me is a blessing.”

Men can also carry the gene mutation, as it is passed down from parent to child.

Carriers have a 50 per cent chance of passing it on to their children.

Carla is represented in Parliament by Mark Tami, Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside, who attended the launch of the report.

He said: “This new report shows the importance of BRCA testing in our fight against cancer, and I’m thrilled to pledge my support to such an important campaign.

“Not only does the Ovarian Cancer Action’s report celebrate the progress that has been made in tackling hereditary cancer, but it also provides a valuable road map to what else needs to be done.”

Katherine Taylor, chief executive of Ovarian Cancer Action, said: “Every eligible woman who has been denied testing and goes on to develop ovarian cancer represents a cancer prevention failure.

“Treatment for ovarian cancer lags behind other, better known, cancers and survival rates remain low.

“BRCA testing is one of our strongest weapons in the fight against this disease.”

Email:

david.humphreys@nwn.co.uk

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