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TV Meteorologist Shares Breast Decision

October 7, 2013
Written by: , Filed in: Breast Imaging
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Jacqui Jeras, an on-air meteorologist at WJLA-TV, Channel 7, in Washington, DC, has let viewers in on some difficult events over the past few weeks: her decision to have her breasts removed, her surgery, and her subsequent recovery.

Because of her willingness to share her ordeal so candidly, her stories have stood out among the many flooding airwaves and other media channels during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

On August 30, Jeras announced on her Facebook page:

My health is great, but I want to keep it that way, so I am having a preventive double mastectomy. I have a strong family history of breast cancer including my sister who is battling the disease right now.

Her mother, a grandmother, and two aunts have also had the disease.

The station aired its first report about her decision last Tuesday, October 1. Jeras said genetic counseling had indicated that she faced a 30 percent risk of breast cancer—which would only increase. “By having the surgery, my risk of getting breast cancer will drop to 3 percent over a lifetime,” she said. “So why would I not do that?”

She and her husband, Mike, have been married for 20 years. They have a son and a daughter. After 13 years with CNN, she moved to WJLA a year ago to do weather reports during the morning newscast. “I have a tremendous amount of support,” she said. “I have faith, I have family, I have my friends. And that will get me through this.”

WJLA aired a second report Wednesday. It showed Jeras leaving the hospital after her September surgery, following up with her surgeon, and learning that one breast had contained a small benign tumor. It also showed her plastic surgeon beginning breast reconstruction. That process should be finished by December. She’s back at work and looking forward to resuming the bicycling, hiking, and other outdoor activities she loves.

In the meantime, she said, she hopes on behalf of other women that advances in genetic testing and breast cancer detection and treatment will allow others in her situation to take less drastic measures to protect their health. “My biggest concern,” she said, “is my daughter because I don’t want her to feel like she’s going to have to do this someday.”

* * *

Exactly how should a woman be notified that she has dense breasts? The chief medical officer at Siemens Healthcare has some ideas; to learn what they are, see our Facebook page.

Related CME seminar (up to 23.5 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™): UCSF Breast Imaging and Digital Mammography (free domestic shipping)


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