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I Am a CHEK2 Previvor

August 24, 2020

I Am a CHEK2 Previvor

By Valerie Fogerty

It is helpful to have a good relationship with your doctors! There is a lot of breast cancer in my family and I shared this with my OB/GYN. Upon hearing this, she encouraged me to have genetic counseling and testing. At this point, I am the only person in my family who has elected to complete testing. I understand that it is a very personal choice, but I also believe it is my responsibility to educate and inform family members so they can make their own personal decisions.

I was not surprised to learn that I had a CHEK2 mutation that increases my risk for breast, colon and other cancers; however, it was not an easy result to hear. I did a lot of research, talked to several doctors and genetic counselors to understand my risk and have ultimately made decisions about my health. At this time, I have chosen surveillance and get yearly breast MRIs, in addition to several manual exams. I had a colonoscopy a few years ago as a baseline and receive thyroid ultrasounds every three years. I have also made a concerted effort to eat less processed and more organic foods and to exercise regularly.

FORCE is a community of strong individuals. It has been a great way for me to connect with others who have experienced similar journeys. I love being a FORCE Peer Navigator, connecting people with personalized resources and helping them find their best path. I am grateful that FORCE is doing more with lesser-known mutations so that we can all have the same level of education and support.

If I had to give one piece of advice to someone just learning they have a genetic mutation, I would tell them to take the time to learn as much as they can and be their own advocate. There are amazing doctors, genetic counselors and resources available and everyone must make the decisions that are best for them.

Valerie Fogerty, CHEK2 Previvor

Posted in: Stories
Tags: Previvor , CHEK2

1 Comments

September 11, 2021

Stephanie says:
I just received the news on 8/18/2021, I'm CHEK2 positive. I have been getting mass in both breast since 2016. Had one removed in 2017 that turned out to be a benign phylodes tumor. I have mass develop every year now. My mother was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2018. In 2020 I started having a gut feeling I was going to end up with breast cancer due to all the mass I keep getting. It is a feeling of nauseous and sick to my stomach everytime I find a mass. I changed doctor's this year and was able to get the genetic testing done finally. I had surgery 8/6/21 to remove all mass in both breast. I'm scheduled for a breast MRI in a couple weeks. I've made appointments for colonoscopy and thyroid testing. Still looking for a dermatologist for skin test though. This has been nothing but an emotional rollercoaster for me. I don't know what other resources are available to me at this time. Thank you for sharing your story!

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