BRCA Gene: Should Parents Communicate Risk?

January 9, 2012

The Huffington Post

Karen Kramer's children were 9, 14 and 16 when she told them she'd tested positive for a harmful BRCA gene mutation, putting her at much higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. The news had serious implications for her health and theirs, but Kramer said she never once considered keeping it a secret.

"The only thing that I did hold back a little is the fact that they can interhit this mutation," said Kramer, 47. Women who inherit a harmful mutation may also have higher risk of additional cancers, like cervical and uterine; men may be at greater risk of pancreatic, stomach and other cancers.

"My older children, both boys, understood that," she told HuffPost. "My daughter, who was 9 at the time, didn't understand that this was something that could happen to her. But she is 12 now, and she does." Read More