HealthBuddy Check 6


28-year-old weighs her options living with BRCA2 gene

28-year-old weighs her options living with BRCA2 gene
Posted at 5:51 PM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 18:22:21-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Aundrea Osbourn is in her element exploring the great outdoors in RVA.

“Anything with them is fun. I love spending time with my family,” Osbourn said.

Because of the love for her family, Osbourn is being proactive about her health.“There is a fear of not being here because of the cancer,” Osbourn said.

Osbourn doesn’t have cancer and she’s never had it. But the 28-year-old’s risk of getting breast cancer is extremely high.

“I come from a long line of family members that have breast cancer,” Osbourn said. Three of her family members have had breast cancer.

Five of them, including Osbourn, have the BRCA2 Gene. It’s a genetic mutation that increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

“I'm talking somewhere in the vicinity of a 60 to 80% lifetime risk,” Pattie Bragg, a nurse practitioner, said.

Bragg is a nurse practitioner at VCU Massey Cancer Center’s High Risk Breast Clinic. It’s where Osbourn is a regular patient.

“I think it's a central place to go and a lot of different aspects of high risk breast surveillance,” Bragg said.

Bragg said many of the patients are referred to the clinic by another doctor. Once at the clinic, a risk assessment is done looking at the patient’s family history, genetic mutations and dense breasts.

“Sometimes the surveillance MRI's are recommended because the mammograms can't see as well,” Bragg said.

Some patients like Osbourn get a mammogram and an MRI every six months.

She also gets counseling and conversations about her options. “Whether or not I want a mastectomy done or continue to take medication to lower the risk of cancer,” Osbourn said.

All of it helping Osbourn keep her focus on her health. “Being proactive about it to make sure I get to watch my son grow up,” Osbourn said.

To reach the High Risk Breast Clinic, call (804) 560-8932.