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Breast Cancer and a CHEK2 Mutation AT 28

August 24, 2020

Breast Cancer and a CHEK2 Mutation AT 28

By Chelsea Gregory

My hereditary cancer risk came from my father

I didn't know a risk for hereditary cancer ran in my family until I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 28. Several women on my father's side of the family had battled breast cancer, including my paternal grandmother. None of them had undergone genetic testing. Since I was diagnosed when genetic testing was more widely available, I thought it best to undergo genetic testing.

CHEK2 and a double mastectomy

I had mixed emotions (including some relief) when my test results showed I had a CHEK2 mutation. Prior to receiving my results, I was debating whether to have a single or double mastectomy. Being diagnosed with a genetic mutation confirmed my decision to have a double mastectomy. Now I would worry less about developing breast cancer again in the future.

FORCE: a wonderful resource of information and a community of support

FORCE has been helpful in my journey. The FORCE website is a great resource, not just for those with a hereditary cancer risk, but also for those who are battling breast or ovarian cancer. I realize that I made it through cancer relatively unscathed. I harbor a lot of guilt over this. I caught it early and did not need chemo or radiation. I loved and trusted the hospital where I was treated and am pleased with the aesthetic results of my double mastectomy. I am paying my good fortune forward by being a Peer Navigator with FORCE. I find it rewarding and enjoy connecting with other women. Hopefully I am making their day a little easier or a little less scary.

FORCE shows you that you can take something terrible - cancer, a genetic mutation, grief or loss - and turn it into something positive. FORCE is a group of women and men supporting one another. Most importantly, FORCE means that you are never alone.

FORCE: XRAY

XRAY is my favorite FORCE educational program. Since there is so much conflicting information in the news regarding breast cancer, XRAY clarifies the facts in a way that is easy to understand. I look forward to reading their regular media reviews.

I am empowered!

I want everyone who learns of a genetic mutation to feel empowered, not defeated.

Chelsea Gregory, CHEK2 Breast Cancer Survivor

Posted in: Stories
Tags: Breast Cancer, CHEK2, Mastectomy

3 Comments

December 5, 2021

Amber Goodwin says:
Thank you for sharing your story. I am 44 years old and recently dx with invasive ductal carcinoma. I found out my Aunts on my father's side also have had bilateral mastectomy. My surgeon advised me to have the gene test done. I just received my results and am positive for the CHEK 2 gene mutation. I have an appointment via phone with a gene counselor today. Your story has truly inspired me of my decision making . Since I was just recently diagnosed I don't know yet about my lymph node status. I'm praying this was caught early. I'm just so ready to get a treatment plan going. Thanks again and God bless you

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January 15, 2022

Kristen Rondon says:
Hello! I was diagnosed late December and have to make a decision on having a lumpectomy with radiation, si gle mastectomy or double mastectomy. I have implants that are 21 years old. The doctors are recommending more of a double mastectomy and then I got my genetic results and I have chek2 gene. After reading your comment, I feel like I should lean towards a double mastectomy. Thank you for your story.

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July 18, 2022

Lucy day says:
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my right breast at age 37. I was tested for genetic mutations, but the test came back negative. I was treated with a right mastectomy. When I was 50 I was diagnosed with breast cancer on the other side. They retested me for genetic mutations, as genetic testing had advanced, and I tested positive for CHEK2 and another cancer causing mutation MITF. I then had a mastectomy on the left side and further surgery on the right to match the left. I'm sure more information will keep coming out to help us assess our personal risks. If I had known about the mutation earlier I would have been spared going through chemo. Hopefully others will be spared this.

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