Woman who has 97% chance of getting cancer says it's not all 'doom and gloom'
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Featured Image Credit: @michellebrasier/Instagram
A woman who was told she has a 97 percent chance of getting cancer said the feeling is surprisingly ‘freeing’.
Her father died in 2006 when she was 18, just a week after being diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas.
Brasier’s ‘young, fit and healthy’ brother Paul was then later diagnosed with bowel cancer, and sadly died the same year.
This prompted her to undergo genetic testing to gain a better understanding of her own fate, finding that she has a 97 percent chance of getting cancer herself.
Brasier is currently at Soho Theatre in London performing her new show Average Bear, which tells the story of her dealing with the ‘hereditary illness’, having recently appeared on BBC Radio’s Women’s Hour to promote the four-date run – and to discuss what the test results have meant for her outlook on life.
Explaining how she went for testing to get a ‘head start’, she said: “My father passed away – he was diagnosed with cancer and he died a week later, which was a big surprise.
“But my brother got cancer when he was 42, and he passed away within a year as well. And so it just sort of all added up, I suppose.”
Brasier continued: “I'm very proactive about my health. I’m here for as much time as I can have, so, I went to my GP, and I explained: ‘This is my family history, do I need to get checked for anything? I’m a lot younger than my brother and sister so I've got a head start and I'd love to use it.’ And they referred me to a genetic counsellor.
“And they told me there’s a 97 percent chance. But it doesn't have to be doom or gloom – it doesn’t mean that I’ll get cancer and I’ll die.
“I just don’t waste my time. I want to enjoy it and I try not to be afraid of things, and I try to really embrace everything that I can, whether that’s a piece of toast or patting a dog, or coming to London to do a show at Soho Theatre.”
When asked what advice she would give to other people that might be in a similar position and are worried to find out, Brasier replied: “It’s absolutely up to you if you want the information or you don’t want the information, but I personally think it can be really freeing.
“And either way, just knowing that it could be true, I think, can make you appreciate life more.”
She added: “So, regardless, I think, just spend your time wisely, because even if you don’t have the gene, you could be hit by a bus.”