The importance of knowing about hereditary breast cancer, with Ann Frisch and Jamie Vento

Breast Cancer News
October 2, 2020

Most often, breast cancer diagnoses are the result of a mutation, or change, in the breast cells that forms in a woman’s lifetime, and we can’t predict who will develop breast cancer and who won’t. But for some people, mutations are present at birth in the genes that they inherited from one of their parents. These mutations put those people at a much higher risk of getting breast cancer in their lifetime. In recent years, we have learned a lot more about hereditary breast cancer, including common gene mutations that raise the risk of breast cancer in some families, and actions people can take to lower their risk if they have a mutation in one of these genes.

Ann Frisch and her daughter Jamie Vento are two women who have tested positive for a mutation in the BRCA2 gene that puts them at higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Ann and Jamie spoke with Living Beyond Breast Cancer CEO Jean Sachs, MSS, MLSP, about their experience, how they learned about hereditary breast cancer, why they decided to get genetic testing, and how that knowledge has affected their medical decisions and family.

If you have a family history of breast cancer or just want to learn more, visit our page on genetics and family risk or Sharsheret

Ann Frisch 
Ann Frisch, 63, is a semi-retired nurse living in New Jersey with Brian, her husband of more than 40 years. Read more. 
Jamie Vento
Jamie Vento, 36, is a corporate retail executive living in Staten Island, New York, with her husband Brett of 10 years and two daughters, Emory (9) and Sienna (6). Read more. 

Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP
Chief Executive Officer, Living Beyond Breast Cancer
Jean began her work with LBBC in 1996 when she became the organization’s first executive director; she was named CEO in 2008. Jean brings a lifetime of women’s advocacy experience to her role as CEO. She lives LBBC’s mission everyday by speaking with newly diagnosed women about their needs and gaps in support. Read more.