The former Liberty X singer revealed earlier on this week that she stands an 80 per cent chance of getting ovarian cancer or breast cancer, and has to make a decision about whether she should have a double mastectomy and her ovaries removed in order to reduce the risk.
According to Macmillan Cancer Support, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are those that have been shown to play a role in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and women possessing these genes generally have a 50 to 80% change of getting cancer during their lifetime.
If your family has a strong family history of cancer it may be recommended that you undergo genetic testing, which involves testing a living relative affected by cancer to find out which of the cancer genes may run in your family.
The idea of this ‘predictive testing’ as it is sometimes known, is to give individuals with a family history of cancer an early warning so that they are prepared or can take action to prevent the disease from taking hold.
Michelle, who now knows she possesses the gene, now has to make some very difficult decisions about how she wishes to proceed.
With so much to take in, the married mother of one said that she will be attending counselling sessions in a bid to help her understand and come to terms with what she is going through. Speaking out on her Twitter account she said: “Some of your stories are heart wrenching and inspirational…I’m off for counselling today & some advice into the operations.”
Finding out that you may have or do have a terminal illness can be an extremely distressing and often lonely experience. When do you tell your friends and family? How will you tell them? How will they react? How will you cope? There are so many questions and so much to take in and trying to do this alone can be completely draining.
If you find yourself in this situation, why not talk things through with a counsellor in a confidential environment? A counsellor is there to offer impartial advice and will help you to understand and explore how you are feeling and why.
For further information about how counselling could help you, please use our advanced search to find a counsellor or psychotherapist who has experience in this particular area.
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