Mum’s bid to stop daughter having to face heriditary breast cancer

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A mum wants to help her little girl after her family was devastated by breast cancer.

Carly Perkins, 32, is facing having her ovaries and breasts removed because of a rare heriditary condition.

She has been taking part in promotional events in the hope research and raising awareness of her faulty BRCA1 gene will save her daughter Tilly-Rose, four, from her ordeal.

Carly, of Turners Hill, who will let Tilly dress her on Friday (June 10) as part of Breast Cancer Now’s Styled By a Child Campaign, said: “This might make no difference to her life whatsoever - but if I hadn’t tried my hardest to change that oucome for her I would feel guilty.

“My mum feels terrible about passing that gene on.”

Carly had a preventative double masectomy after her mother Julie Perkins was twice diagnosed with breast cancer and her aunt died from the disease.

She hopes better treatments and support for her condition are found before Tilly can take tests to check if she also carried the gene after she becomes 18.

Tilly has a 50 per cent chance of carrying the faulty gene, which would increase the chance of her getting breast and ovarian cancer by up to 85 per cent, said Carly.

She added raising awareness of the condition would help support for sufferers and has spoken to Liberty X pop star Michelle Heaton about her condition on ITV’s Lorraine show.

Carly was 17 when she witnessed her mother Julie go through a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Her aunt Eve Jackson died from the disease and in 2012, genetic testing confirmed that Julie has the BRCA 1 gene, which increased her breast cancer risk by about 80 per cent.

Only the following day after receiving the news, Julie found another lump on her breast, which also turned out to be cancer.

Carly said Eve’s death helped her decide to get tested and learn her own risk. “I owe her a lot,” she said.

The tests confirmed she had the mutation months before Tilly was born with a dislocated hip and had major surgery to have the mobility of a normal baby.

Carly, who lives with her fiancee Damian King, their baby boy Olly and Tilly, had a double masectomy and resconstructive surgery in 2013.

She said: “For me, if I hadn’t had children and I didn’t have my partner it would probably have been a lot harder decision to make.”

She said having the procedure was ‘not a case of if but when’ and added: “It was hard walking around knowing that basically that they [her breasts] could kill me, I didn’t want that worry.

“It was either yearly mammograms or have them removed, for me it was just the easier option to have them removed.

“My mum had mammograms and still got breast cancer twice.”

Carly was told she had until she was 35 to decide whether to have her ovaries removed because of her increased risk of ovarian cancer.

The surgery would stop her having to get twice yearly checks for the cancer but she and Damian, 39, are considering to have another child.

She said: “We are kind of getting over from having Olly.

“I don’t know if I didn’t have this decision to make if we would be finished [having children].”

Carly said Tilly had a ‘little smirk’ as she spoke of taking part in the Styled by a Child fundraiser.

She said: “There’s been mention of wearing wellies and shoes.

“I’m not sure if she’s going to put me in less clothes!

“It could be quite interesting.”

To sign up to Styled by a Child on Friday visit http://breastcancernow.org/styled

A spokesman said: “Money raised by the event would enable Breast Cancer Now to fund ground-breaking research into the disease and help to to reach their target that, by 2050, nobody will die from breast cancer.

“Whether you’re a model mum, designer dad, a gran that can or an auntie with attitude, sign-up to look funny for money and help fund research that will save lives.”

Carly added her BRCA gene mutation also increased the chance of cancer in her son, but to a much smaller extent.