What an inspiration! Christina Applegate has sacrificed a lot for her health and family over the years. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and had a double mastectomy to remove her breast tissue and ensure that she would be around to watch her daughter Sadie grow up. When she recently learnt she carries the BCRA1 gene — which puts women at a much higher risk of cancer — she made a brave decision to undergo surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.
"Two weeks ago, I had my ovaries and [fallopian] tubes removed," she revealed on Today.
"My cousin passed away from ovarian cancer in 2008. I could prevent that."
The BCRA1 gene is likely to blame for Christina's breast cancer — women who have it face a whopping 55 to 65 percent chance of getting the disease by age 70, according to Cancer.gov. While the double mastectomy saved her from that, she also faced a heightened 39 per cent chance of getting ovarian cancer. Luckily, that can't happen after her latest surgery.
"That’s how I’ve taken control of everything. It’s a relief. That’s one other thing off the table. Now, let’s hope I don’t get hit by a bus," she joked.
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Unfortunately, the gene mutation is hereditary, which means Christina has to be extra cautious with her daughter's health.
"The chances that my daughter is BCRA positive are very high," she explained.
"I look at her and feed her the cleanest foods. I try to keep her stress levels down. I’m doing everything I can on my end knowing that in 20 years, she’ll have to start getting tested. Hopefully by then there will be advancements. It breaks my heart to think that’s a possibility."
In American, there is only one test for women to take to find out if they have this gene mutation and it's very expensive. Meanwhile in Australia, it was recently revealed that genetic testing will be free for high-risk patients and their families.
Pathologists say that the changes to the cost of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer is a huge milestone and will significantly improve the lives of Australians.
This article first appeared on Closer.