Last week I received a call from Dr. Joanne Weidhaas, M.D. PhD, founder of MiraKind. Her mission is to study the KRAS-variant genetic marker found in breast, ovarian and lung cancer.
She told me I tested positive.
The KRAS genetic marker is a contributor to 20% of all breast cancer cases, 20% of ovarian cases and 25% of all lung cancer cases.
According to Dr Weidhaas, Since we have found that declining estrogen levels trigger cancer in KRAS-variant positive women, we know that estrogen is protective for them. We support HRT, particularly in women with the KRAS-variant, as it helps protect them against their cancer risk.
Thankfully, Gennev's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, happened to be sitting next to me in our office when I received the news.
I immediately asked her if I should go on hormone therapy.
She responded with a question, Are you still getting your period?
Yes, I still have my period.
Well then your body is still making estrogen. You dont need estrogen when your body is still making it.
I was relieved, but my next question was, What if I want to go on the Mirena IUD to regulate my period? My period is still monthly, but sometimes its more frequent, heavy, painful and downright unpredictable in terms of flow.
Too much TMI? Welcome to us getting more comfortable with our health.
Dr. Dunsmoor-Su recommended that I forgo the Mirena IUD or any form of birth control that could mask whether I was still menstruating, so that I can more closely monitor when my estrogen levels will sharply declineaka menopause.
At that point, I will likely turn to supplemental hormone therapy to manage my cancer risk in accordance with my KRAS test results.
People have asked me, Do you really want to know if you have a gene for this or that? My answer is yes! Knowledge is power. With my test results, I am empowered to manage my long-term health in an informed way with the help of an evidence-based doctor.
This is what preventative healthcare is. This is me taking control of my health.
I share these personal results with you, because as women we need to be aware of whats happening in our bodies as we enter perimenopause and come out the other side.
If you're interested in taking the KRAS-variant genetic test, its a simple cheek swab using a mail-order kit that Dr. Weidhaas team carefully ships to you and easily collects with a self-stamped return. Heres what the kit looks like.
Our health cannot be left to online questionnaires or annual visits to a general practitioner. Things are changing in our bodies in our 40s, 50s and 60s, so we need to learn and act. Take the test. Talk to a doctor. And feel empowered about your health in the second half of life.