Genetics and Your Breast Health -Fearless Fabulous You! Sept. 5

Lack of health literacy is one reason people become sick. Ignoring symptoms, not grasping the importance of seeing a doctor or having regular exams based on your age, and lack of education about personal well care to reduce risk of chronic disease are some examples.  Breast Surgeon Dr. Shubhada Dhage is dedicated to treating New York City’s under served women and to shedding light on tumor progression as Co-Leader of the Perlmutter Cancer Disparities Program and Co-Director of the Bellevue Hospital Breast Clinic. Nearly 50% of per patients are under 50 years ago, 80% are from non-English speaking countries and most lack the education to understand their illness.

We’ll discuss what young women and minority women need to know about their breast health and reducing their risk and Dr. Dhage’s research to help early detection of more aggressive forms of breast cancer. Dr. Dhage is one of this year’s honorees for “A Second Helping of Life” September 19th to benefit SHARE, an advocacy, education and peer support nonprofit to help women with breast or ovarian cancer.

After receiving my breast cancer diagnosis in 2009, the topic of genetic testing came up with my surgeon and oncologist. While there was no history of breast cancer in my immediate family, both prostate and pancreatic cancer factored prominently on my paternal side. I took the simple test, and it came back positive for the BRCA2 genetic mutation. This gave me clarity on how cancer came into my life and what I needed to do to reduce my risk for other cancers. While a relatively small percentage of breast and ovarian cancers are genetic, the topic of genetic testing has been more prominently in the news.

Lisa Schlager, Vice President of Community Affairs, at Facing Our Risk (FORCE) will discuss hereditary cancer and how it differs from sporadic cancer, risk assessment, screening and when you may want to consider genetic testing. We’ll discuss the benefits and limitations of genetic testing. Since learning of her BRCA1 mutation in 1999, Lisa’s mission has been to educate others about the risks of hereditary cancers.