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Jan 24, 2024

In today's episode, Dr. Jennifer Young Pierce is joined by the brave and resilient Haley Orillion, who shares her powerful story of undergoing risk-reducing surgeries after learning she carries a BRCA gene mutation. From the societal pressures she faced to the emotional aftermath of her surgeries, Haley opens up about her experiences and ongoing challenges. Dr. Pierce guides us through Haley's journey, emphasizing the importance of support and advocacy, and breaking down complex information for listeners. Join us as we delve into the emotional and practical aspects of genetic mutations, survivorship, "previvorship," and their impact on individuals and families. This episode is brought to you by the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, the only academic cancer research and treatment facility on the upper Gulf Coast.


3 Key Takeaways

1. Genetic testing: Haley's decision to undergo genetic testing for a BRCA gene mutation underscores the importance of considering family history and seeking medical advice. Individuals with a family history of certain cancers can seek genetic testing and counseling to assess their risk and make informed decisions about their health.

2. Societal pressures and beauty standards: The societal pressures Haley faced when making decisions about her surgeries highlight the need for support and understanding. It's essential to foster a culture that embraces diverse experiences and empowers individuals to make choices that align with their health and well-being.

3. Empowerment through sharing: Haley's journey illustrates the transformative power of sharing personal stories to support others facing similar challenges. By breaking down complex information and presenting options, she aims to make a difference and provides guidance for family members and individuals in similar positions.


Show Overview

01:31 Haley diagnosed with BRCA1 gene mutation.

05:21 Genetic testing guidelines for young adults explained.

09:09 BRCA gene mutations increase risk for certain cancers.

10:40 Genetic testing and recommended cancer screenings.

16:50 'Previvor' description resonates despite feelings of uncertainty.

22:18 Approaching family with empathy, information and support.

25:25 Sharing personal stories to help others heal.

27:40 Encouraging genetic testing for those who may be at risk.



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USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute
The Cancering Show is brought to you by USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute. MCI is a cutting-edge cancer research and treatment center built to fight cancer smarter in Mobile and Baldwin counties in Alabama. Our researchers and clinicians focus daily on the struggle against cancer, serving a potential catchment population of more than 4.1 million people, with a singular focus of advancing cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prevention throughout the Gulf Coast and beyond with science, technology and hope.

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