Methodist Healthcare
October 02, 2013

Live Tweet to Spread Awareness of Preventative Mastectomies

Arizona woman travels to San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital for surgery after testing positive for BRCA, the breast cancer gene


San Antonio, October 2 – Methodist Hospital and PRMA Center for Advanced Reconstruction will conduct a live tweet during a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery at Methodist Hospital on as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Beginning at 9 a.m., follow twitter hashtag #BRCAdiep on @SAHealth210, Methodist Healthcare’s Twitter handle, and @diepflapbreast, Twitter handle for PRMA.

When 39-year-old Melissa Ray of Arizona learned she was positive for BRCA1, the breast cancer gene, she decided to have surgery. By doing so, she will reduce her risk of developing breast cancer by more than 90 percent. Ray agreed to take part in the live tweet to help raise awareness among more women about their options and risk factors. 

“With my family history and risk of breast cancer with the BRCA1 gene, I feel that prophylactic mastectomies are not extreme, but necessary,” says Melissa Ray, who is traveling to San Antonio from Arizona for the procedure. “I witnessed what breast cancer can do and I will do anything I can to reduce my risk.”

For many women, it’s known as the “Angelina Jolie effect.” The actress announced last May that she had a preventative or “prophylactic” mastectomy and reconstructive surgery based on a family history of breast and ovarian cancer. Jolie tested positive for the breast cancer gene known as BRCA1. Since that time, a record number of women around the world began seeking genetic testing to discover whether they are at risk of breast cancer. Once confirmed, they are able to make an informed decision about prophylactic surgery.

Minas Chrysolpoulo, M.D., will perform the double mastectomy and Steven Pisano, M.D., will assist during the reconstructive phase of the surgery. “The great thing about preventative mastectomies is that we now have these cutting-edge breast reconstruction techniques that keep women whole and natural looking after surgery,” says Dr. Chrysopoulo. Both physicians are with PRMA Center for Advanced Reconstruction.

Ask your doctor about being tested for the BRCA gene. For a free physician referral, please call DoctorSource at 1-800-333-7333 or 210-575-0355. If you’ve been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, Methodist Healthcare has two breast navigators to help you through the entire continuum of cancer care. Call the numbers above to talk with a Methodist Healthcare nurse navigator.