The importance of knowing BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation status is three-fold:
-For the individual with the cancer, it gives information about risk of other cancers. So there is a higher risk of breast cancer
-there are new investigational drugs called PARP inhibitors that use the structural and functional changes associated with the gene mutation for novel therapies
-family members should consider getting gene tested. If a family member has the BRCA gene, that is a reason to consider the prophylactic removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes and for some women - prophylactic mastectomies.
as far as prognosis, stage 4 ovarian cancer can have a grim prognosis but their are some who do well for many years. Women with ovarian cancer who have a BRCA mutation seem to have cancers that are more responsive to being killed by chemo
Thank you for responding. I will continue to research the BRAC mutations, but I'm not understanding if my DIL's BRAC 2 mutation is a 'mutation of a mutation.' Any reading mateirals you could point me to would be most helpful; however, I know you are busy and will not be offended if you do not have time to answer this post. Thank you for confirming what I know. My DIL's prognosis is grim. I think I'm in the anger/depression stages, and I just don't understand what the research community has not done more to understand and treat this monstrous disease. I've walked in the Ovarian cancer walk and have the 'break the silence' bracelet, but I don't see the point of the slogan. Silence? People get OVCA, ususally discovered at a late stage, and there's not much to be done. Is that the silence we're supposed to break? Oh, and add to that, there's no test for it, no specific treatment, and general symptoms. Pardon me for raging. I'm just so angry and feeling futile.
you go ahead and rage for all of us. It is a tragic disease.
I would interpret "break the silence" as the silence of this disease until it is at late stage. If only we could get signals from this cancer that it is there when it is stage I.
as far as the gene mutation - if you have access to the actual report from the genetic analysis, could you print it in here and I can may address any other specific questions.