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Graduate writes new book on 'Understanding BRCA'.

A LOUGHBOROUGH University graduate has written a book describing how to cope with carrying BRCA gene mutations.

Clarissa Foster obtained a degree in Human Biology in 1999. During her degree she lost her mum to ovarian cancer and later discovered it was the result of her carrying a harmful BRCA2 gene mutation.

Now a science teacher in the Vale of Belvoir, she said: "Years later, I was found to carry the same BRCA2 gene mutation, meaning that I had an exceptionally high lifetime risk of developing breast & ovarian cancer - a 45-85 per cent risk of breast cancer and a 10-30 per cent risk of ovarian cancer.

"Empowered by this knowledge, I decided to undergo risk-reducing surgery to lower my lifetime risk of cancer. Once fully recovered, and with no useful book available to help BRCA mutation carriers like myself, I dedicated my time to writing a book on the BRCA gene.

"My book entitled, 'Understanding BRCA' has just been released internationally and aims to improve the reader's understanding of the BRCA gene, the biology of genetics and what it means if an individual carries a harmful mutation.

"The book also explores the options available to BRCA mutation carriers, including enhanced screening, chemoprevention and risk-reducing surgery, with reference to relevant research.

"The final part of my book shares with the reader my personal journey of undergoing a risk-reducing BSO and bilateral mastectomy to reduce my risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. I have detailed openly and honestly my emotions throughout my own journey."

The book was 'highly commended' by The British Medical Association in the Popular Medicine category in the 2018 BMA's Medical Book awards and is a finalist of The People's Book Prize competition in the UK.

Clairissa also a has a Facebook support group, which is currently supporting almost 1,000 women and men globally.

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Publication:Loughborough Echo (Loughborough, England)
Date:Apr 10, 2019
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