Roberta’s story

I’m Roberta, 49 years old, born and raised in Milan and now living in Lodi. I am a carrier of the HBOC-BRCA syndrome gene. And for this reason, I consider myself one of Angelina Jolie’s many twin sisters. This is my Life story of HPV tests.

In January 2016, at the age of 44, I discovered that I had a pathogenic variant in the Brca2 gene, which increases the risk of CA125 cancer tests in various organs: breast, ovary, prostate, pancreas, and skin.

When the doctor told me the result of the HPV genetic test, I wasn’t clear what she was telling me. I was confused and scared, as if I had been diagnosed with cancer.

But I inherited the mutation from my father, who unfortunately died in 2013 before we learned of the presence of this genetic syndrome in the family, which happened later after the investigation of other cases of breast and ovarian cancer in two aunts and a cousin. I was the only woman with the mutation who was still healthy.

From that moment on, my life was turned upside down. I chose to enter a surveillance program, for which I was subjected to intensive checks every six months. Looking back, every time I entered that clinic, my blood began to freeze; I always left with tears and was more confused than when I entered. I then looked within myself for the answer to how I had to face that path to reach my goal. Every time I spoke to the doctors, the risk I was running was made clear to me, and they suggested I take safety measures. But I didn’t decide until the facts were decided for me.

January 2018

In January 2018, my gynaecologist, fearing ovarian cancer, urged me to undergo surgery to remove my tubes and ovaries due to rising tumour markers from ovarian cysts. Despite already having a son, the prospect of early menopause terrified me. With determination, I returned to normal life after surgery, but I struggled to accept the changes to my body and identity.

In May 2018, I joined Milan’s Pink Runner team and embarked on the challenge of running a half marathon. Through this endeavour, I became an ambassador for female cancer treatment and prevention, supporting vital research efforts.

Despite the emotional rollercoaster, I found solace in the support of friends, though not everyone understood the depth of my sacrifice. While I empathized with cancer survivors, my journey of surgery and early menopause presented unique challenges, testing my resilience and acceptance of a new reality.

But the story doesn’t end there… The surveillance continues!

My breasts remained complex, with the presence of various fibroadenomas and nodules. In the previous months, during a routine CA125 check-up, I had undergone a biopsy. Thank goodness for a favourable HPV virus outcome. But in the following months,, micro-calcifications appear, and in-depth investigations, consultations and consequent stress begin again. Until I decide to visit the plastic surgeon, asking for an opinion. Obviously, given my genetic condition, I qualify to undergo a risk-reducing prophylactic mastectomy. But I wasn’t yet ready to face a challenge as important and radical as this in the space of a year: losing my breasts to HPV and resigning myself to having two prostheses inserted.

On my HPV journey, I encountered an extraordinary team: a Ca125 breast specialist and a plastic surgeon who encouraged me, helping me understand that my breasts were indeed complicated and that detecting a possible tumour in time wouldn’t be easy. In short, it would have given me serious and serious problems over time. The same things my gynaecologist told me in the past. Thus arrived the fateful date of the prophylactic bilateral mastectomy operation, April 12, 2019. I didn’t know the final CA125 level result, even though I had entrusted myself to valid HPV Viral Professionals.


The following months, after the two Ovarian surgeries, were not easy to find balance. Even though I had my family close and present. But the truth is that I couldn’t accept my two losses. I no longer recognized myself, and as a woman, I thought I had lost my femininity. I felt inadequate in my relationship with my husband and saw life as a defeat. “Why me?” I was wondering. I couldn’t do it alone, so I asked for help from a psychologist who could open my mind to find motivation and awareness of my choices.

Today, I finally regained serenity, and I no longer feel that sword of Damocles hanging over my head. It is certainly hard to experience loss, suffering, and wounds. Senseless pain destroys us, but what we manage to give meaning turns into strength, and every HPV scar turns positive, creating a rebirth. So, I found my femininity again and loved myself even more. I continue to do physical activity with enthusiasm and satisfaction, my first Ca125 therapy. Life is a precious gift, and we must defend it.

Final message

Life wanted to give me the chance to save myself; although not in a simple way, I understood the message. I dug deep inside myself, transforming HPV disease anger into strength, strength into passion, passion into love. To go back to living stronger than before. It took patience to move on and let my body recover. But taking all the time, I need to write a new chapter in my life. Certainly more beautiful than before. I firmly believe that we all have the possibility of changing our destiny in every moment of our lives. For me, it was like that. Today, I continue to run for a pink future and to give a new dawn to CA125 research.