The Doctors: Dr Rachael Ross BRCA Test
The female doctors were joined by surgical breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk for a special episode focusing on women’s health. Dr. Jennifer Ashton, Dr. Jennifer Berman, and Dr. Rachael Ross gathered with audience members to discuss Dr. Rachael’s family history of breast cancer and BRCA test results.
Dr. Funk is Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy surgeon. She made Dr. Rachael realize that, since her aunt was diagnosed with both breast cancer and ovarian cancer, she should get tested for the BRCA gene.
Dr. Rachael visited the Pink Lotus Breast Center for her testing. She was nervous, but the test itself was very easy; it’s either a blood draw or a “swish and spit” test. As Dr. Funk said, Angelina Jolie has brought the issue of genetic testing to the forefront. As a result, she has seen that women are less fearful about getting tested themselves.
The Drs TV: Dr Rachael BRCA Breast Cancer Gene
Dr. Rachael became emotional as she discussed how much she misses her family members who have passed away. Dr. Jennifer Berman’s mother also passed away from breast cancer, and her sister was recently diagnosed. It took her a long time to finally get tested, but she eventually gained the courage to do so. Dr. Funk said that it’s common for women to avoid testing—especially physicians like Dr. Rachael—because they don’t want to appear vulnerable.
If one parent has the BRCA gene, there’s a 50/50 chance of passing it down to children. Dr. Rachael needed to know this important information, no matter what the results happened to be. She felt “relieved” to have finally taken the test.
Dr. Funk said that even women who test negative for BRCA still have an elevated risk, so mammograms may need to be supplemented with extra exams, MRIs, medications, and a variety of other methods.