30th Anniversary of Preventative Mastectomy

2023 is the 30th anniversary of Wendy Watson MBE’s ground-breaking preventative mastectomy; the first woman in the UK to undergo the procedure.  Cause UK secured a live interview with Wendy and her daughter Becky on the Channel 4 Steph McGovern Show on Thursday 12th October 2023, to raise awareness of hereditary breast cancer during breast cancer awareness month.

A staggering 9 out of 12 women in her family had breast cancer. Later, her daughter, Becky Measures was also diagnosed with the gene and underwent preventative surgery. Becky, who co-hosts a podcast with her mum called Mother and Daughter Breast Friends, are keen to share their story.

Wendy’s bravery saved her own life, and paved the way for countless others (including Becky) to consider genetic testing and take preventative steps.

30 years on, Wendy feels strongly there’s still a need to raise awareness of gene testing; Jewish, Asian, and other groups have a hereditary link to breast cancer.

Wendy and Becky’s podcast provides invaluable advice, and encourages others to make informed decisions to safeguard their future health.

Her journey is a testament to the strength of the transformative power of early intervention.


  • 97% of the population who carry a high risk gene mutation are completely unaware
  • 1 in 40 Ashkenazi Jews carry a gene fault
  • A free test is now available to both males and females who have at least one grandparent of Jewish origin
  • BRCA1 & 2 were the first breast cancer genes to be identified in the mid 90’s. Now a great many more genes have been identified and if someone was tested say 10 years ago with a family history but no gene fault detected, they should then revisit their genetic service and ask for a panel test R208 which is more comprehensive.
  • 1 in 200 carry a faulty gene

There are four options available if faulty genes are identified:

  1. Do nothing
  2. Be screened frequently depending on age will either be Mammography or MRI or both
  3. Drugs such as Tamoxifen which reduces risk by up to 50%
  4. Surgery of which there are an absolute multitude of options in themselves a whole range of categories

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