A mum who underwent drastic surgery to avoid developing cancer linked to a faulty gene is “ecstatic” after learning her son is not a carrier.
Tracey Barraclough, from Calverley, Leeds, said the news that son Josh does not have the BRCA1 gene put an end to “four generations of tragedy”.
Her mum, nan and great grandmother all died from ovarian cancer in their 50s and after Tracey found she carried the gene, she opted for major preventative surgery.
However, she knew there was a 50 per cent chance Josh could have inherited the gene too, putting him at increased risk of prostate and pancreatic cancer.
Now, the 18-year-old has been told that his test results are negative – delighting his mum.
She said: “I am ecstatic. It’s a full stop to four generations of tragedy.
“I was the fourth one to have the gene and it means that any children that Josh has, this has been taken away from them.”
Tracey discovered she was a carrier of the faulty gene in 1997, after her mum’s death.
When she tested positive for the gene which was linked to the loss of three generations on her maternal side, medics said she had a much higher chance of developing ovarian cancer.
Thinking of her then three-year-old son Josh, she chose to have a hysterectomy to reduce her risk of developing the disease. Later, she learned her chances of breast cancer were 85 per cent and decided to undergo a preventative double mastectomy too.
The 53-year-old said she had always been open with her son about the risk of him carrying the gene and aged 18, he decided to be tested.
“He is really pleased – though he’s very laid back,” she said. “I was quite tearful.”
She said it was down to the work of researchers, including at Cancer Research UK, that the tests could be done.
“We have come such a long way, just since my mum died, and it’s amazing he could be tested.”