After Ruth's mum died of breast cancer at a young age, it was suspected she might have had a mutated BRCA gene. When Ruth's own genetic tests showed that she was at higher risk, she decided to undergo preventative surgery.
I always knew I'd get a mastectomy, it was just a case of when
Ruth's mum was only 36 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and passed away at the age of 42. Because she was so young, the genetics team at the hospital that treated her kept in touch with Ruth, and offered her genetic counselling when she was old enough.
Looking back now, Ruth realises she felt quite invincible when she was younger, and decided not to have the test until she was in her 20s. It was actually the birth of her first child that prompted her to get tested, as she realised that she didn't want him to have to experience the loss of a parent as she had.
In this episode of The Breast Cancer Now Podcast, Ruth tells us about the difficulty of making decisions about risk-reducing surgery, the possibility that her children have inherited her genetic mutation, and her involvement with the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign.
I still struggle to acknowledge that it's been a big deal, that it's been a big operation that I've had. I think it's because my brain is telling me, 'Well you've not had cancer so you're OK.'
Everyone’s experience is unique to them. This podcast contains the personal story and experience of the speaker, rather than that of Breast Cancer Now.
You can subscribe to The Breast Cancer Now Podcast via your preferred podcast provider. This is where you'll hear the personal stories of people who have experienced breast cancer, as well as discussions with healthcare professionals and researchers.