Eileen Glassman – 7-year survivor
Kate Doria – 10-year survivor
As one of six children, Kate Doria comes from a very close family. So when she was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago, she had a large contingent behind her when she had a lumpectomy and radiation treatment.
“The support I received from family and friends was incredible,” says Kate. “My family was there every step of the way, from chemotherapy and doctors’ appointments to being with me in the hospital weeks at a time.
Three years later, Kate’s sister, Eileen Glassman, faced her own breast cancer diagnosis, and her family, including Kate, was right by her side.
The sisters were battling the same disease, but with one big difference. “Even though there was a history of breast and ovarian cancer on my father’s side,” explains Eileen, “Kate had tested negative for the BRCA mutation.” BRCA gene mutations greatly increase the risk of both ovarian and breast cancer. When Eileen was diagnosed, she was given an additional test (known as BART) that uncovers “genomic rearrangements” of the BRCA gene, and it came up positive.
Eileen opted to have a double mastectomy and hysterectomy, and though Kate’s cancer was in remission, she decided to do the same. Eventually, their other two sisters also chose to undergo both procedures.
“The emotional impact of those surgeries was tough,” says Eileen. “But now, after seven years cancer-free, I know there’s a reason we went through this, and that is so we can help other people.”