Claira Hermet, BBC Presenter, On Why She's Elected To Have A Double Mastectomy At 27

BBC presenter Claira Hermet has made the tough decision - like Angelina Jolie and thousands of other women - to have a double mastectomy to prevent her chances of getting breast cancer.

Aged only 27, Hermet has already been through a lot - she lost both her sister and mother to the disease. She also carries the BRCA 1 gene, which gives her an 85% chance of also getting it.

Unwilling to sign her life over to the 15% chance she may not get it, Hermet has made the tough choice, and she threw a photo shoot to celebrate her breasts before she gives them up on Double D Day, as she calls it.

"After making the decision to go ahead with the operation I decided a few things," reported the BBC. "I wanted a party and I wanted photos to remember my boobies as they are now.

"The photo shoot was so much fun to get glammed up and to feel sexy. I did some fun shots to share and some topless shots which will be for my private collection. It was so liberating."

Writing on her blog about her decision, she said: "It’s been a roller coaster so far. It has made me think about my mum and sister. It has made me address things that I never have before. It has made me love myself and realise my worth. It has cemented the importance of self love, self confidence and self respect. I used to say, but I now know, that if you don’t love or respect yourself then you can’t expect anyone else to.

"It has made me think long and hard about the beliefs and excuses I have formed that hold me back and stop me from achieving. I have had to be very honest with myself about why I’m not exactly where i want to be, doing what I want to do. I have realised the importance of taking full responsibility for myself and my life. No blame and no excuses. It’s a scary prospect but this is my life and i want to make the most of it so accepting I am fully responsible for it a must."

Hats off to a brave young lady.

What Is BRCA 1? Dr Niamh O’Brien From Breast Cancer Campaign Explains:

"There is a particular gene called BRCA1. Normally BRCA1 role is to control growth within the cell, but when function of BRCA1 is lost, the cell can start to grow uncontrollably and become cancerous.

"And it seems that when BRCA1 function is lost it tends to be of a sub type of the disease called ‘triple-negative breast cancer’. The aim is to improve the chances of survival for women with this type of breast cancer, which can sometimes be more aggressive.

"Most people have a normal functioning BRCA1 gene, but a small number of women inherit a faulty version of BRCA1, which increases their risk of developing breast cancer to about 55%-85%. That’s why women who carry a faulty BRCA1 gene, such as Angelina Jolie, have risk-reducing surgery, by removing breasts and sometimes their ovaries.

"While BRCA1 is produced everywhere in the body, the faulty role only seems to be associated with breast and ovarian cancer - and sometimes with male prostate cancer, although this is rare."

Kerry Mansfield's Breast Cancer Journey