South West women urged to educate themselves about BRCA gene mutation
South West women are being urged to be aware of the history of breast cancer in their family and to be tested to see if they carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation.
After discovering she carried the mutation in 2014 Sophie Diment made the decision to have a double mastectomy early the following year.
The Australind mother of three said she decided straight away to have the operation but she was then on a waiting list for nearly a year and a half.
“I didn’t want to take the chance of getting breast cancer and not being able to see my girls grow up,” she said.
“My friends and family were very supportive as they knew it was important to me and understood why I was doing it.
“My mum was amazing as I had both the girls to look after and was there with me through everything – it was quite an emotional time.”
Mrs Diment said prior to being tested she knew very little about the mutation.
While doing research she found out about the Pink Hope foundation who helped provide additional support and resources.
She said she had been open with her daughters Chloe and Tazmyn during the process.
“They both know that mummy had a bad gene so I had to get an operation done,” she said.
“When they got a bit older I told them about the BRCA gene mutation and what it means to have it.
“I don’t want them to worry or be scared about what was happening to me so I have always talked openly and honestly about it to them.”
She said she encouraged other women to be aware of the risk and to be tested because knowledge was power.
“If I can save just one person it would make it worth it,” she said.
“I have always been very active in raising awareness of the breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations.
“I didn’t even know it existed when I was told I might have it which is quite scary to think there are other people out there who have no idea about their risk.”
An education hosted by the St John of God Subiaco Hospital and Pink Hope will run from 8am to 3pm on Saturday. For more information visit pinkhope.org.au.
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