BRCA testing results, one woman’s search for answers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan mom who was waiting to find out if her genes may lead to cancer has gotten her answer.

On Tuesday, 24 Hour News 8 introduced you to Stacy Baldini, a woman going through BRCA testing.

Baldini wanted to share her test results with 24 Hour News 8, no matter the outcome, to show others what the test is all about and what their options are.

Lacks Cancer Center Genetic Counselor Sarah Keilman revealed Baldini’s tested negative for the gene mutation, meaning Baldini has the same chances of developing breast cancer as the average woman, which is 12 percent.

“I’m glad to be able to give you good news,” Keilman said. “This is the best part of my job, by far.”

Baldini said the results were unbelievable.

“I was just so sure it was going to be positive, everybody has been positive,” she said.

Baldini no longer faces the possibility of preventative surgeries, as her risks remain the same as everyone else.

Keilman said for those who do have a mutation in the gene, surgeries like a double mastectomy can drop their risk by 90 percent.

And a new study is showing women with the mutation may want to also consider having their ovaries removed earlier, by age 35.

Keilman said the mutation is something the medical community is watching closely. And she stressed it’s not an issue that is exclusive to women; men with the mutation have a higher risk of developing breast or prostate cancer.

According to Keilman, it’s recommended that men with a concerning family medical history should get checked out, because if they test positive for the mutation, they can increase their screenings to catch any signs of cancer early.

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