Anna Gorman chat transcript

2007-04-13 12:51:04.0 Administrator: Hello everyone, thank you for coming to the chat. We're starting a bit early so please send your questions.2007-04-13 12:51:12.0

Helen : I have the BRCA2 mutation. I inherited the mutation from my Dad. He passed away from pancreatic cancer.2007-04-13 12:51:30.0

Justice : hello anna cant wait to talk to you.2007-04-13 12:51:45.0

Anna Gorman: I'm so sorry Helen. It's difficult to watch.2007-04-13 12:52:10.0

Jane : Hi. I cannot be here at 1pm, but would like to ask a question. You wrote that, "[t]he BRCA1 mutation[is] primarily found among Ashkenazi Jews," Is that really true? I understand that the incidence among that ethnic group is relatively high, about 1 in 40, but the prevalence in the general population is about 1 in 380. Other studies come up with different numbers. Since the Ashkenazi Jewish population is relatively small, doesn't that imply that the BRCA1 mutation may be found in much greater numbers among the rest of the population? and not "primarily found" among "Ashkenazi Jews"? This may be important, to avoid misleading other women about their risk of carrying the genetic mutation. I hope this was clear. I think it is important to distinguish between a group with higher risk and where the mutation is "primarily found," which may be in many more individuals who may not have ancestors in the particularly high risk groups.2007-04-13 12:53:17.0

Anna Gorman: Hi Jane. I unfortunately don't have too many stats, but you should definitely check out, the National Society of Genetic Counselors. I am Ashkenazi Jewish, so that's what I am most familiar with. I do know that BRCA is found in other ethnicities as well.2007-04-13 12:53:31.0

carlotta : Anna, I'm reading your story from Madison, WI and I just want to say that I was very inspired and so, so proud of you and your decision. Bless you and your family.2007-04-13 12:53:56.0

Anna Gorman: Thank you so much Carlotta. I'm glad the story has reached you.2007-04-13 12:54:40.0

Administrator: Anna, you've gotten a huge response from your story that went up on the website last night. Were you expecting this?2007-04-13 12:56:03.0

Anna Gorman: I wasn't sure what to expect. But yes, I have gotten probably 200 e-mails, including from women who said they are now going to get genetic testing. I think that's wonderful. That is one of the biggest reasons for telling my story.2007-04-13 12:57:58.0

c : Anna, I saw your post on the FORCE website and wanted to thank you for letting others know about FORCE.2007-04-13 12:58:17.0

megan in portland : Hi, Anna!!! laurel emailed me your article here in Portland, and my mom is buying the paper today in Mission viejo. I love the writing and the photos made me cry. this is a tremendous work of art, I am SO PROUD OF YOU!!2007-04-13 12:58:35.0

c : Your story is so real and so well told.2007-04-13 12:58:43.0

Anna Gorman: I really appreciated meeting those women at such an emotional time in my life.2007-04-13 12:59:06.0

Anna Gorman: Thanks Megan!! Nice to hear from you.2007-04-13 12:59:07.0

Helen P. : Thank you for reading my story.2007-04-13 12:59:36.0

megan in portland : You bet. xxoo2007-04-13 13:00:16.0

Helen P. : I am a 19 + year survivor of stage IIIc ovarian cancer. I have the BRCA2 mutation2007-04-13 13:00:25.0

Susan : Anna-Thank you for telling your personal story. What is the increased risk for women with the gene mutation for getting pancreatic cancer?2007-04-13 13:00:46.0

Anna Gorman: Wow Helen. I am so happy you are a survivor. Keep fighting.2007-04-13 13:01:35.0

Anna Gorman: Susan, The research is not as strong. There is a proven connection with pan ca and BRCA2, but the research on BRCA1 is not as clear. My father had pancreatic cancer, as you know, so I fear that I am at increased risk of that as well.2007-04-13 13:01:55.0

Helen P. : I e-mailed you my story this morning. My brother also has the mutation. We inherited it from our father who also passed away from pancreatic cancer 5 years before I was dx. with stage IIIc ovarian2007-04-13 13:02:37.0

Anna Gorman: Helen, I'm sorry -- I am still making my way through my e-mails. I hope your brother monitors his health as well.2007-04-13 13:03:49.0

Helen P. : My brother is an 8 year survivor of prostate cancer. He resently had a pre cancer test for pancreatic cancer. He gets mamograms too.2007-04-13 13:04:45.0

Toki : Thank you anna for sharing your story. It is truly amazing.2007-04-13 13:05:11.0

Anna Gorman: Helen, I think it's really important for men to realize they are not immune from this awful disease. BRCA1 and 2 are deadly and affect men too. Unfortunately, nobody talks as much about the dangers for men, but they are also at risk of prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer, as well as melanoma.2007-04-13 13:05:13.0

Susan : Anna - Are you positive for BRCA1 or BRCA2?2007-04-13 13:05:27.0

Anna Gorman: BRCA1 , 185delAG2007-04-13 13:05:42.0

c : I see Dr. Knopf on the chat. Maybe he knows the statistical risk for pancancer for BRCA2 and BRCA1. Dr. Knopf?2007-04-13 13:06:24.0

Administrator: at what age should those who think they might be at risk get tested?2007-04-13 13:06:30.0

Anna Gorman: The American Cancer Society is also a good resource for statistics.2007-04-13 13:06:32.0

Heather : Anna, great story. I have to ask, as a mom and survivor of BC, did you consider the genetic possibility for your daughter? I remember standing in the kichen weeping when the oncologist called to say I didn't have the gene, and therefore my daughter couldn't.2007-04-13 13:07:10.0

Toki : Does anyone know at what age you can be tested for the gene?2007-04-13 13:07:40.0

victor : Great story, Anna, it caught my attn on the front page & was the first article I read about an hour ago2007-04-13 13:07:56.0

Anna Gorman: I don't know if there is a recommended age for testing. I wish I had heeded my mother's advice and been tested earlier, so I didn't feel such a rush to get married and have children. That said, I am not sure I will have my girls tested until some time down the road, until they are old enough to understand. Someone told me that the labs don't actually test until the person is 18.2007-04-13 13:08:03.0

Lloyd Baum : What was your prime motivation as an L.A.Times staff writer to write such a highly personal story2007-04-13 13:08:12.0

Anna Gorman: Thank you so much Victor.2007-04-13 13:08:42.0

Helen P. : I would think it would be best to wait until after 18 years of age for testing. Why put the burden on the child when it is too early to take preventative measures?2007-04-13 13:09:12.0

Toki : Thanks for answering. I think age 18 makes sense.2007-04-13 13:09:33.0

Anna Gorman: Lloyd, The biggest reason was to inform people about the gene and hopefully to save lives. I knew, as a writer, that the effective way to write about the mutation was by doing it this way. It was, in a way, also cathartic for me and a tribute to my father.2007-04-13 13:10:00.0

victor : I was drawn to this article because my mom was afflicted with breast cancer in 15 years ago when I was 192007-04-13 13:10:45.0

Anna Gorman: Victor, Did she survive? Wow that must have been hard for you to deal with as a teenager. I was an adult when my dad got sick, and it was still so hard.2007-04-13 13:12:02.0

Helen P. : Before a person has genetic testing they must show a family history of cancer. Even though my brother, my cousin and I all have the BRCA2 mutation, there are others in my family who have had cancer and they tested negative for the mutations.2007-04-13 13:12:16.0

flash : why would you make the decision to bring more children into the world with this genetic trait??2007-04-13 13:12:53.0 Anna Gorman: Lloyd, I should add that it is never easy to tell such a personal story. My job is to have other people tell their personal stories to me, so it gave me some insight into how my interview subjects must feel.2007-04-13 13:13:02.0

carmel : Dear Anna, While reading your article, my heart became heavy for you and your family. I am happy for you for having your daughters. Continue surrounding yourself with supportive people and gaining more knowledge on BRCA. May your daughters be safe from BRCA.2007-04-13 13:13:22.0

Heather : And Helen, they only have to show a genetic history to get insurance to cover the test. Anyone can test themselves for pretty much anything if they pick up the tab.2007-04-13 13:13:34.0

Heather : Anna - The reason I'm asking this is because my friend is making the decision for herself now, whether to have a child before the surgery. Did you ever consider not because of the huge risk (50 percent) of passing it on to your own children?2007-04-13 13:13:41.0

Anna Gorman: Flash, That was definitely something I considered -- stopping this genetic mutation with me. But I truly wanted to have children and I hope that when my daughters are of age, that there will be genetic therapy and they won't have to have drastic surgeries to prevent cancer.2007-04-13 13:13:50.0

Anna Gorman: Carmal, Thank you very much.2007-04-13 13:13:59.0

jason : Anna, I know your dad would be very proud of you! My dad told me he was in tears reading your story. You are so Brave! (this is Jason S)2007-04-13 13:14:05.0

carmel : I hope you follow up with another story of your well-being, as I 'm interested in your touching story. Take care.2007-04-13 13:14:16.0

Susan : Anna- What is the increased risk of pancreatic cancer with the BRCA1 mutation? Also, what can be done to prevent it?2007-04-13 13:14:27.0

Susan : I spoke to a woman who is a patient at Cedars Sinai and had her daughter tested at a very young age. She was positive and is being very carefully monitored.2007-04-13 13:14:32.0

Anna Gorman: I highly encourage genetic testing if you have a family history.2007-04-13 13:14:44.0

Helen P. : A person who tests positive has a 50% chance of passing the mutation on to there children and then if a person has a mutation that does not mean they will get cancer.2007-04-13 13:15:06.0 Anna Gorman: Susan, That's interesting. At what age?2007-04-13 13:15:11.0

victor : no, Anna, my mom passed away after being stricken for 5 years with breast cancer2007-04-13 13:15:24.0

flash : that must have been a very difficult decision for you to make. thank you for sharing your story.2007-04-13 13:15:29.0

Anna Gorman: I am sorry Victor.2007-04-13 13:15:44.0

Anna Gorman: Yes -- 50/50. Not good odds. I pray for my daughters.2007-04-13 13:16:34.0

Toki : Is the gene more prevelant in one sex over the other (male vs. female)?2007-04-13 13:16:46.0

Anna Gorman: But that is right. There is no guarantee that I would have ever gotten ovarian cancer -- or that I will ever get breast cancer. The organization I mention in the story, FORCE, calls us previvors. But it really does feel like a ticking time bomb inside me (pardon my cliche)!!2007-04-13 13:17:29.0

Susan : I'm not sure how old she was, but Dr. Karlan may know.2007-04-13 13:17:37.0 Anna Gorman: Toki, I am sorry, but I am not sure if it favors men or women. I know both are affected. That would be a question for a genetic counselor. Sorry.2007-04-13 13:17:53.0

Mary : Hi Anna, I was a neighbor of your father and his wife. When I read your article, I thought it was about another family, since there was no mention of his wife being by his side 24 hours a day. I was very sad for his wife that the article made it sound like it was just his children and a nurse that cared for him. His wife was the one that changed his diapers and filled his feeding tube, not the nurse. The nurse only came once a week. His wife drove him to LA for chemo every week. How could you leave that out?2007-04-13 13:18:46.0

Heather : Anna - You can do a lot for your daughters nutritionally to keep them healthy as possible even if they have the gene. Look into what cultures with the lowest incidence of BC eat: lots of fish, rice, green tea.2007-04-13 13:18:57.0

Anna Gorman: Mary, I am sorry. I did mention Debi, but unfortunately the story got cut and cut and not everything made it in. Yes, she took care of my father during a very difficult time. I hope she is well.2007-04-13 13:19:16.0

Helen P. : When I went to the genetic counselor I brought my family history of cancer with me. If I had not had a family history they would not have approved the testing.2007-04-13 13:19:57.0

alan knopf,md : your article and these questions may have an answer in genetic research. abkm.d.2007-04-13 13:20:19.0

Anna Gorman: Alan, What do you mean by that?2007-04-13 13:20:41.0

Toki : I am curious that you have not yet decied to do the mastectomy. Have you given yourself a timeline to re-evaluate and make a decision (you don't have to share when)? I do have to say that my sister in law's mom had a double mastectomy in Feb. but she had stage III breast cancer. It is a very sad prognosois for her.2007-04-13 13:21:07.0

aundik : we do not test minors. a patient must be at least 18 years of age2007-04-13 13:21:34.0

ken : Hi Anna, your story truly made me realize the importance of life. How has your life changed since the passing of your father? Do you live life to the fullest, or are there days that you think about the unthinkable?2007-04-13 13:21:40.0

Helen P. : I believe both males and females have a 50% chance of inheriting the mutation. My brother and I both inherited the BRCA2 mutation from our Dad. My other son has been tested and he does not have the mutation.2007-04-13 13:21:55.0

c : Toki, BRCA genetics is 50-50 chance for either male or female. Anna is right that Genetics Counselors are your best source for individual questions.2007-04-13 13:22:10.0

Toki : Yes, I did not quite catch that Dr, Knopf2007-04-13 13:22:38.0

Toki : Helen, I am so glad for you that your son does not have the mutation.2007-04-13 13:22:41.0

Anna Gorman: Toki, Yes I have. I hope to make my decision about whether to get my breasts removed by the time I am 35. I just feel a little overwhelmed now. I want to take a deep breath, after my father's death, my girls' births and the surgery. I probably will do it, but I am not ready yet. It's a hard decision. But a counselor did say to me that if I have my breasts removed, I will never hear the words, "You have breast cancer." That really stuck with me.2007-04-13 13:22:49.0

Toki : Thank you for answeing my question2007-04-13 13:23:51.0

alan knopf,md : stem cell!2007-04-13 13:24:04.0

Anna Gorman: Ken, That's a hard question. His death has brought me even closer to my siblings, and to my mother. It has made me appreciate that I don't have cancer, and made these decisions more pressing. But I don't know if I live every day to the fullest. I am too busy changing diapers and chasing after my daughters -- and working! -- to think about it too much.2007-04-13 13:24:22.0

victor : Anna, if you don't mind me asking, how did you and Coll meet? How is your relationship with him nowadays?2007-04-13 13:24:26.0 Anna Gorman: Alan, Stem cell -- yes!2007-04-13 13:24:29.0

ken : thanks for answer ;)2007-04-13 13:24:33.0

gerald : Hi AnnaGorman. Warmest wishes to you. There is an e-mail letter waiting for you today. Hope to hear back soon. Gail2007-04-13 13:24:39.0

Endora : I've read numerous articles praising Dr. Beth Karlan and her research efforts. How did you connect with her?2007-04-13 13:25:06.0

Toki : Wow. That is powerful, Anna. It is incredible to think you can in a sense be in control of the cancer by actively preventing it. That has to be a great feeling, although I know you worry about pancancer etc2007-04-13 13:25:14.0

Anna Gorman: Victor, Things are definitely on the mend. It was a hard first three years of marriage, but hopefully we are on the right track again. Despite his reluctance, he loves his little girls and is such a great father. Coll -- I see you are on the chat too. I love you!2007-04-13 13:26:01.0

Helen P. : There a things that can be done to help prevent breast cancer if you have the mutation. I took Tamoxifen for 5 years and I have taken Femara for 3 years. This reduces my risk. I get Breast MRI's in addition to mammograms.2007-04-13 13:26:09.0

c : Coll, I see you in the visitor list.... wanting to say that it is wonderful that you are so supportive. Some women do not have that support.2007-04-13 13:26:24.0

victor : from one new father to another, more power to you, Coll, and I wish you and your family much joy and comfort2007-04-13 13:26:29.0

alan knopf,md : we may be able to alter the mutation in the dveloping embryo and eventuall afect the genetic mutation in the adult.2007-04-13 13:26:32.0

Raluca : Dr. Knopf - pls. clarify how stem cell research would help BRCA1 and BRCA2 research2007-04-13 13:26:36.0

Anna Gorman: Endora, I had a relative who was her patient and she referred me. Dr. Karlan is wonderful and very knowledgeable. She has been very supportive. That said, I am sure there are many great gyn/oncologists around the country.2007-04-13 13:27:08.0

Coll : Well since having the girls, I wonder why I had any reluctance...As for the relationship, there was strain, but not in any way that would drive us apart. In the end I think it's brought us closer and made me realize how lucky I am to have this great wife, these wonderful daughters,2007-04-13 13:27:29.0

Raluca : Dr. Knopf - the ability to alter germline mutations in utero is very very far away2007-04-13 13:27:34.0

Coll : Thanks Victor2007-04-13 13:27:36.0

Anna Gorman: Helen, Thanks for sharing that. I also get mris and mammograms regularly. In fact, I just had one last week and all is clean!2007-04-13 13:28:35.0

Administrator: does the testing get easier each time? or is it always extremely stressful?2007-04-13 13:28:46.0

c : Anna, and everyone, it is great to have a clean mammogram, but you must still do your self-exam. That can find things that are missed on the tests.2007-04-13 13:29:10.0

Helen P. : Tamoxifen, Femara etc. also help reduce the risk of breast cancer.2007-04-13 13:29:28.0

Anna Gorman: Unfortunately, it is still hard. I still feel very anxious when I go into the Cancer Center. But no more fainting!2007-04-13 13:29:49.0

Toki : Where can young women go to get low cost mamos? My Dr suggested I have one (i am 36) but insurance will not cover it until age 40.2007-04-13 13:29:54.0

Toki : Can diet really serve as prevention to breat and ovarian cancer?2007-04-13 13:29:56.0

Anna Gorman: Yes, self exams are very important.2007-04-13 13:30:20.0

Helen P. : I believe knowledge is power. The more a person knows, the more they can prevent things from happening. Prevention is peace of mine.2007-04-13 13:30:30.0

Anna Gorman: I am not sure on low-cost mammograms, but I am sure there must be clinics and other places that do provide them.2007-04-13 13:31:27.0

ken : if you had the ability, would you want more children?2007-04-13 13:31:37.0

c : Toki, if your doctor recommends specifically that you have the mammogram, there is probably an insurance code he can use that your insurance will allow. Please ask your doctor's office about this.2007-04-13 13:31:40.0

Anna Gorman: Helen, I agree. That is why I decided to get tested. Knowledge is very powerful.2007-04-13 13:31:54.0

Helen P. : I am a 19+ year survivor of advanced ovarian cancer and I never ate anything special. I had two surgeries and 2 1/2 years of chemotherapy. I have needed no chemo for 13 years.2007-04-13 13:32:01.0

Lloyd Baum : After absorbing everthing that you see here, what do you plan as your next step to get your message out to the public?2007-04-13 13:32:09.0

aundik : keep your eyes open for low/no cost mammo opportunities through city/county, or health institutions like Cedars-Sinai or UCLA. They all have mobile mammography2007-04-13 13:32:19.0

Anna Gorman: ken, No way. I have my hands full with two! I haven't gotten a full night's sleep in more than 2 years.2007-04-13 13:32:46.0

alan knopf,md : not if we obtain enough federal support. please verify with nih.2007-04-13 13:32:51.0 Anna Gorman: Aundik, Thanks for the info on low cost mammograms. The more information the better!2007-04-13 13:33:04.0

victor : I hope I don't have to wait that long: our daughter is over 5 weeks old: I miss sleep!2007-04-13 13:33:23.0

Toki : Thank you. I really need to get a mamo but I am scared2007-04-13 13:34:06.0

Anna Gorman: Lloyd, Not sure. I think this story has reached a large number of people around the world. I don't know what I will do next, if anything. I hope others continue to pass this story around for weeks - and months -- to come.2007-04-13 13:34:56.0

ken : Is there a possiblity that your children may carry the same genetic mutation?2007-04-13 13:35:04.0

Anna Gorman: Victor, Good luck with that. I love Sadie and Twyla more than anything in the world, but they are a lot of work.2007-04-13 13:35:19.0

victor : the age for women to get mamos is 40: is it younger for African American women? I know my wife is at higher risk: she turns 35 in a few months2007-04-13 13:35:34.0

sss : relieved to hear you are cancer free. congratulations.2007-04-13 13:35:46.0

Anna Gorman: Ken, Unfortunately, yes. They each have a 50/50 chance of getting the mutation.2007-04-13 13:36:01.0

Helen P. : I think doctors and genetic counselors need to educate people about their risk and encourage them to get genetic testing.2007-04-13 13:36:25.0

Anna Gorman: Me too! I hope never to get cancer. It is an awful disease. It's hard to get those images of my father dying out of my head.2007-04-13 13:36:39.0

Toki : Anna, what would you say to your daughters at age 30? Would you advise them to undergo the same surgery?2007-04-13 13:36:55.0

justice : hello anna, i really wish i could talk to you, but i have to be off to work, i also lost my father to cancer and buried him this past monday. your story is nothing short of AMAZING you are a true champion! i am so terrified my father's sister also died of cancer. they both were life-long smokers and i have a cousin on my mother's side found out that she has cancer also, she found out while pregnant.2007-04-13 13:37:07.0

aundik : The test is $3100, less if you are Jewish, and is covered by most insurances2007-04-13 13:37:18.0

victor : I'm sorry justice2007-04-13 13:37:30.0

Anna Gorman: Toki, I hope they won't have to make those decisions. But yes, I would advise them to do whatever they can to save their lives. I want to see them grow into old age.2007-04-13 13:37:51.0

Laurel Arroyo : I love you Anna! We are all so proud of you. Thank you for being so brave and for sharing your / our story with the world. I know it must have been hard to write but it is very important and I believe that it will make a difference and encourage others to get tested and be proactive. Love, your little sister2007-04-13 13:37:56.0

Anna Gorman: Justice, I am so sorry. It can't be easy.2007-04-13 13:38:09.0

Toki : Well good luck Anna. I look forward to reading more on this topic.2007-04-13 13:38:13.0

justice : thank you victor, i am still in shock and feel totally blank, i was close to my father2007-04-13 13:38:18.0

Raluca : Victor - American Cancer Society recommends baseline mammography at age 40 for all American women, regardless of race. If there is a family history of breast cancer, then baseline at 35 may be appropriate.2007-04-13 13:38:33.0

justice : thank you anna, i am really going through it right now. i feel like passing out at times.2007-04-13 13:38:46.0 Anna Gorman: Thank you little sister. I love you so much and am so happy you don't have the mutation.2007-04-13 13:38:49.0

victor : ok, thanks Raluca. No history of cancer on my wife's side.2007-04-13 13:38:56.0

laura : Did your dad test first, or did you test first without knowing there was a mutation in the family?2007-04-13 13:39:11.0

gerald : A very important factor necessary to take care of our health is to be very pro-active in your medical care, educate/read, ask questions, and be your own best advocate.2007-04-13 13:39:15.0

Anna Gorman: Raluca, Glad to see you are on. Any information you can give will be helpful. there were a couple of questions higher up that I didn't know the answer to.2007-04-13 13:39:18.0

victor : Best regards to you, Laurel2007-04-13 13:40:30.0

Anna Gorman: Laura, I tested before my father. My aunt and grandmother and great aunt had all died of ovarian cancer. I knew it was in the family. They were all on my dad's side. After my test results came back positive, I knew that he was positive as well. He was the one who passed it along to me.2007-04-13 13:40:35.0

justice : would love chat further but have to go to work. there is no cancer on my mother side but my cousin may have gotten from her father's side, don't know though. all the best to you anna, you are amazing. and i thought i was going through it. YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL AND STRONG WOMAN. I REALLY LOOK UP TO YOU. thank you for sharing your amazing story.2007-04-13 13:40:43.0

ken : If there's one thing you want to tell people who are facing cancer, what would it be?2007-04-13 13:40:57.0

Anna Gorman: Gerald, I agree. Read, read, read. Find out as much information as you can. Take charge.2007-04-13 13:41:20.0

sss : anna, what made you decide to make your story public?2007-04-13 13:41:29.0

Anna Gorman: Ken, I don't know what to say. I have never had cancer, so I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through.2007-04-13 13:41:41.0

ps : Hi Anna - this is Priya from JP... I, for one, am so grateful for Sadie and Twyla being in the world. I have an even greater perspective now on how special and miraculous they are. They will always be in our prayers.2007-04-13 13:41:51.0

Anna Gorman: Ken, I guess to stay strong.2007-04-13 13:42:01.0

Anna Gorman: Thank you Priya for that and your incredible note earlier.2007-04-13 13:42:45.0

Raluca : Hi Anna: the exact risk for pancreatic cancer in BRCA1 carriers is not yet clearly defined. It is up to 6% for BRCA2 mutation carriers.2007-04-13 13:42:46.0

Anna Gorman: sss, It was a hard decision, but I really wanted to educate people and share my story. As journalists, we are always looking for good stories. I knew, even as I was living this, that it was a good story. The hard part was writing it... and seeing it today in the paper!2007-04-13 13:43:45.0

Anna Gorman: Priya, I am grateful for Sadie and Twyla being in the world too. I can't wait until they are old enough to understand. I truly believe that I am doing all of this for them and my husband and our future.2007-04-13 13:44:24.0

sss : It is a good story. Congratulations on the decision, the surgery and the print piece!!!2007-04-13 13:44:56.0

Helen P. : You are educating people with a personal story and that is a wonderful contribution. Not only is it informing them about risk for cancer but it is telling them to look at both their father and mother's side of the family.2007-04-13 13:45:02.0

victor : I guess I never really paid attention to the names of newspaper article writers before. How long have you been with the Times? How often can I find your work in the paper?2007-04-13 13:45:30.0

Anna Gorman: Raluca, Thanks for the info for everyone about pancreatic cancer. Those who are at risk should also know there are tests to be done to screen for it. There are also places doing research on familial links.2007-04-13 13:46:07.0

Anna Gorman: I have been at the Times for eight years. I cover immigration, a timely beat right now. You can find my stories online.2007-04-13 13:46:47.0

victor : ok, thanks Anna. Again a very well written and traumatic story2007-04-13 13:47:03.0

victor : I have to go back to work, I hope our paths cross again. I will keep you and your family in my prayers2007-04-13 13:47:30.0

gerald : I know a terrific adoption attorney if you ever think about adding to your family.2007-04-13 13:47:40.0

Anna Gorman: Thank you Victor.2007-04-13 13:47:50.0

Susan : Thanks for bringing this issue to the front page of the LA Times. Hopefully it will lead to more research funds regarding BRCA mutations.2007-04-13 13:48:10.0

Anna Gorman: Gerald, Thanks. My mom and step-dad are actually adoption attorneys too.2007-04-13 13:48:41.0

Anna Gorman: Susan, I hope so. The more money, the more research, the more information, the better.2007-04-13 13:49:35.0

alan knopf,md : anna your ability to educate your readers has done more for humanity than we in the individual practice of preventative medicine by reaching so many people with your story.2007-04-13 13:49:42.0

Susan : Also, while it is difficult for women to consider have preventative surgery, at this time it is the only way to prevent ovarian and breast cancer. At least there is a way, with so many cancers there is no preventative measure.2007-04-13 13:50:37.0

Anna Gorman: Alan, The power of journalism, even if this scary time in our profession, is inspiring. Thank you. I'm glad people still read the paper, either online or in print. Keep reading!2007-04-13 13:51:04.0

Administrator: anna, is there any information to suggest whether or not this particular mutation is increasing in frequency?2007-04-13 13:51:16.0

alan knopf,md : the same is truue of colon cancer.2007-04-13 13:51:32.0

Anna Gorman: Susan, It is a shame that surgery is the only way we can truly prevent cancer now. I hope that will change over time. But I am thankful that the genetic mutation was discovered and that we have the option of surgery.2007-04-13 13:52:05.0

Anna Gorman: I don't know about whether BRCA is increasing in frequency. I would assume more people are being tested now.2007-04-13 13:52:20.0

Helen P. : The BRCA1 mutation was discovered in 1994 and the BRCA2 mutation was discovered in 1995.2007-04-13 13:52:37.0

otherside : Hi Anna, Having been on a combination of the other side of this - nursed mom through breast cancer, and then immediately afterwards the ex had a 25 lb ovarian cyst the size of a watermelon removed - I'm a bit curious as to how you've meshed Coll's needs with your own given he's done so much. Fascinating article, thank you for writing it.2007-04-13 13:52:54.0

Raluca : the frequency of BRCA mutations hasn't changed. More are being detected, true, so it seems like frequency is increasing, but they have always been around.2007-04-13 13:53:13.0

gerald : Can you involve the Jewish community to create a charity for this and other inheritently genetic diseases?2007-04-13 13:53:44.0

Anna Gorman: It hasn't been easy. I fear that Coll's needs have not always taken priority. And unfortunately, with an 8-month-old and a 2-year-old, they still don't. I am thankful every day for him though and for everything he has gone through with me.2007-04-13 13:54:25.0

Anna Gorman: Gerald, A charity would be nice. There are a lot of people affected by this genetic mutation, and by cancer.2007-04-13 13:54:29.0

Paula : Hi Anna - Dr. Karlan and I are so proud and wish you and the family continued good heatlh.2007-04-13 13:55:32.0

Anna Gorman: Paula and Dr. Karlan, Thank you for everything. I have a huge weight off my shoulders now that the surgery is over.2007-04-13 13:55:38.0

Libby : Thanks so much for writing the article. It's wonderful that the Times put it front and center. Awareness is so important. I discovered I had the BRCA mutation while I was pregnant and had a double mastectomy shortly after giving birth to my daughter last year.2007-04-13 13:56:19.0

Anna Gorman: Libby, Unbelievable. That is brave. How did you come to the decision to have the mastectomy?2007-04-13 13:56:55.0

Anna Gorman: Libby, And congrats on your daughter.2007-04-13 13:57:43.0

alan knopf,md : in colon cancerr early detection can lead to simple outpatint endoscopic cure, perhaps this may apply to early detectio by genetic testing and endoscopic ovarian removal2007-04-13 13:58:07.0

Administrator: Anna, how difficult was the surgery and the recovery process?2007-04-13 13:58:11.0

Libby : My mother's sister was diagnosed with died breast cancer at 43 and I am 37. My mother also had breast cancer and suvived. She is also BRCA1 positive. Beth Karlin did her surgery last year. I knew my risk was very high.2007-04-13 13:59:24.0

Anna Gorman: I was really nervous, but in the end it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. I was in the hospital for two days. My sister and mom came down to help take care of me and my daughters. Within about a week, I was off the couch. And by about three weeks out, I was hiking in Yosemite, holding my baby in a carrier.2007-04-13 13:59:59.0

Administrator: It's time to close this chat. Thank you all for coming and participating.

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