BUDDY CHECK 7: Taking preventative measures

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 10:42 AM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - For some women, their run-ins with breast cancer come early.

In the case of Wausau resident Jenna Bowman, as a kid she watched her mom fight it, and knew down the road it might be something she’d have to address.

Lots of research, support from her sisters, and a team at Marshfield Clinic have helped Jenna become an advocate for her own health, and proactively make her odds of living a life without breast cancer much better.

“My mom, when I was three years old, she was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Bowman explained.

Years later, when her sister was diagnosed and found that she carried the BRCA 2 mutation, Jenna decided to get tested as well.

She’d been active in monitoring the situation for years.

So, when she tested positive for the BRCA 2 mutation, she decided to do something about it.

“Patients like Jenna are my favorite to take care of because we get to offer them their operation when it’s risk reducing, instead of once they’ve developed a cancer,” Jenna’s surgeon, Dr. Anna Seydel explained.

As part a multi-step process, Jenna underwent a preventative double mastectomy.

“For certain genetic mutations we can go from a lifetime risk that approaches 85% down to a risk of 5% for developing breast cancer,” Dr. Seydel said.

Jenna added, “Just knowing my risk of breast cancer is now back to general population is what keeps me positive throughout the whole thing.”

Jenna said she found a lot of comfort in groups on social media, including Instagram, where she was able to share and hear others stories. You can follow her journey here:

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