Thursday, January 30, 2014

BRCA BROTHERHOOD

The BRCA Responder

Spreading awareness and education about BRCA gene mutations and hereditary cancer is an integral part of Dave Bushman's life. Dave is a BRCA1 positive man. Dave's BRCA1 mutation number:  [del187AG]. Cancer runs rampant on Dave's maternal side. His mother died of breast and ovarian cancer at age 42. In addition, one of his mother's sisters died at 35 and another sister at 34. While Dave's son tested BRCA negative, his daughter tested BRCA 1 positive--inheriting the BRCA1 [del1187AG] gene mutation from Dave. (Yes, both men and women can carry a mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and both fathers and mothers can pass that gene mutation on to their daughters AND sons) 

In 2011 Dave's daughter had a DIEP PBM with reconstruction and several months later, a total hysterectomy. Dave has a cousin with ovarian cancer, another cousin with breast cancer, and a niece with breast cancer. Dave is an outreach coordinator for FORCE in New Jersey. 

Seeing a need for male support in the BRCA community, Dave started the BRCA Brotherhood Facebook group. It is a a closed group open to men only. It is the companion group to the BRCA Sisterhood FB group, which is for women only. The purpose of the BRCA Brotherhood is to allow men who have the BRCA gene mutation or who have a family member with the gene mutation to discuss the various issues, problems and concerns that they face. Discussions about the BRCA gene mutation have naturally focused on women, since they are the ones who face a greater lifetime risk percentage of getting cancer. (For more information on cancer risks for male BRCA carriers click here)




"Men in each of these categories have their own specific concerns, needs and interests.

Hopefully, this forum can help address all of these issues, which will help not just the us but also their wives/partners, children and other relatives."  
 Dave Bushman







However, there are many issues that men have to face regarding the BRCA gene mutation. 
They include, but are not limited to, the following: 

1. Men who are BRCA positive with or without cancer. 
2. Men whose wives/partners are BRCA positive with or without cancer. 
3. Men who have a child who is BRCA positive with or without cancer. 
4. Men who are BRCA positive but with a child who has not yet been tested. 
5. Men who are BRCA positive but with one or more relatives who have not yet been tested. 
6. Men with a relative on their side of the family who is BRCA positive but who have not yet been tested himself. 


Dave Bushman is the Administrator for the private Facebook group the BRCA BROTHERHOOD

For more information and/or if you or someone you know would like to request to join the group--please go to: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BRCABrotherhood/

To read more about BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, please go to the National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA