A brave woman has had her ovaries removed and is on a waiting list to have a double mastectomy because she carries a gene linked to breast cancer.
Rose Hale, of Elton Grove in Fairfield, watched her mum Christine lose her battle to ovarian cancer in 2016 - just six months after she discovered she has the BRCA gene associated with breast cancer.
It was then she decided to do every thing in her power to ensure she did not have to suffer like her mum.
The 33-year-old said: “I found out my breasts were ticking time bombs, of course I want them removed. I have seen the alternative and keeping them just isn’t worth it.
“I can’t wait to get them taken out. I have regular MRI scans and mammograms but I live in fear that in between the scans the cancer will develop and by the time the next scan comes along it will be advanced cancer.”
Before Rose could have the genetics testing, she had counselling so medical professionals could be sure she wanted to know.
She said: “I have three children and I don’t want them to go through what I went through, watching a parent waste away in front of my eyes so I chose to find out because knowledge is power and then you can start to make a plan of action which is what I did.”
A positive test result means there is a mutation in one of the breast cancer genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2, and therefore a person who tests positive is at a much higher risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer - compared with someone who does not have the mutation.
However, a positive result does not mean a person will ultimately develop cancer.
Rose said: “I have three sisters and they supported my decision to get tested.
“Some people may say I‘m being overly dramatic by having my ovaries removed and waiting to get my breasts removed but they aren’t in my shoes and living with the constant worry.”
Rose had her ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed in January and needs to lose more weight before surgeons will consider removing a double mastectomy.
She said: “Some people think I’m just after a free boob job but it is so much more than that.
“This will be major surgery for 16 hours where they cut my breasts back to the breast wall and reconstruct new breasts with muscles from my stomach.
“I have also been told that if I keep my nipples there is a five per cent chance of me still getting cancer so I want them to go as well. Yes I’m scared but rather this way than the other way.
“I would urge people who have a family history of breast cancer to get screened, men as well because men can carry and have breast cancer too.
“Doing so may just have saved my life.”