WICHITA, Kansas – Angelina Jolie’s action has left many asking about getting a double mastectomy before a diagnosis of cancer.
According to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, only 5% to 10% of all breast cancer diagnosis in the United States are believed to be related to genes or heredity.
This situation has forced several local women to be proactive about their risk for cancer.
“When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and later with uterian cancer,” said Kathy Rosell. “I felt like I needed to be proactive with my health care.”
Taking action and preventing cancer has been a mission for Kathy Rosell after learning that cancer runs in her family.
“I wanted to have that opportunity to live a long strong life and to not put my family through the same kinds of things that we’ve gone through with my mom and her illness,” said Rosell.
Rosell knew that given her circumstances she had a greater risk of developing breast cancer in the future.
So to minimize that risk she had a double mastectomy two years ago.
“I’m happy with the decision that I made. Even though it was one that took a lot of thought and time,” said Rosell. “I think it’s the best thing not only for myself, but for my family.”
Actress Angelina Jolie made that same decision for her family.
Revealing in a New York Times article Tuesday she too had a double mastectomy after genes testing found she carries a mutation.
A mutation on one of the genes could increased her risk for both breast and ovarian cancer.
“It’s a personal decision to some women,” said Peggy Johnson, volunteer for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. “Some women absolutely want to know. It’s a decision the women needs to understand.”
Unlike Jolie, Rosell opted out of getting her genes tested.
Her doctors felt certain that given her family’s history and results from her mammogram and MRI that the odds were cancer was in her future.
“It really took a lot of weight off my shoulders to always be wondering,” said Rosell. “I was going in for a lot of mammograms and extra testings and things that I don’t need to do now.”
She adds, “Now I can go into my health care profession and not have that constant question and wondering if I’m going to be the next one to get breast cancer.”
Depending on your insurance, the genes testing could cost around $3,000 dollars.
In order to best considered for the test there must be cancer risk factors in your family.
Doctors say the simple blood test could provide valuable information regarding your health and your risk of developing cancer.