Evert's Advice for Those with Family History of Cancer
- Tennis legend Chris Evert advises anyone with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer to get a BRCA test. The BRCA gene mutation elevates your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
- Evert completed her treatment for ovarian cancer earlier this year.
- Ovarian cancer has been called “the cancer that whispers,” due to its hard-to-detect symptoms.
Speaking in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Evert says, “If anybody out there has a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you should get a BRCA test. Because if you’re positive, you have more than a fifty percent chance that before you’re 70 years old, you’re going to get that cancer…”Read More
We love how Evert, a role model in tennis and in cancer awareness, is giving more awareness to the BRCA gene mutation.
Chris Evert’s Ovarian Cancer Journey
Evert’s cancer was first detected in early December 2021, when she had a preventative hysterectomy. She had her first of six rounds of chemotherapy in January 2022. Evert’s younger sister died of ovarian cancer two years ago.
Breast and ovarian cancers can run in families, and the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations can elevate a person’s risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and other types of cancers. Evert has wisely noted this in her recent interview.
Dr. Rebecca Arend, an Associate Scientist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, explains the mutation in terms of its ability to repair damaged DNA.
“What a BRCA mutation is, is a defect in your ability to repair a double-strand break (in your DNA),” Dr. Arend tells SurvivorNet in an earlier interview. “The BRCA mutation, which is passed on from a father or a mother, can cause a variety of cancers, including fallopian tube and peritoneal cancer, which are ovarian cancers.”
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
Ovarian cancer has been called “the cancer that whispers,” due to its hard-to-detect symptoms. Dr. Beth Karlan, a gynecologic oncologist at UCLA Medical Center, explains in an earlier interview, “What we’ve found from multiple studies, it’s this constellation of symptoms,” she said.
“If that’s really happening and you’re experiencing it every day, and they seem to be crescendo-ing, getting worse, even if that goes on for only two weeks, you should call your doctor.”
Ovarian cancer symptoms may include:
- Feeling full earlier/decrease in appetite
- Feeling bloated
- Changes in bowel habits
- Pain in the pelvis
- Urinary symptoms, such as an urgent need to go
- Extreme fatigue
- Abdominal swelling
- Pain during sex