Mother and daughter learn their risk, create a plan to prevent breast cancer
For Robin, a routine mammogram last year at age 47 led to a breast ultrasound and biopsy. Knowing Robin also had a strong family history of breast cancer (her mother and both grandmothers battled it), Robin's doctor recommended the St. Luke's BreastAdvantageTM Risk Assessment Program.
Up to 30 percent of breast cancer is the result of hereditary or genetic factors. BreastAdvantage, offered exclusively at St. Luke's mammography locations, is a free program designed to ensure women at increased risk get the screenings and individualized care they need. The risk assessment includes review of the results by an experienced breast care nurse, a certified genetic counselor and a radiologist specializing in breast imaging.
Robin's daughter, Allie, who at age 23 had already experienced years of breast health issues, also chose to have genetic testing. The results helped Robin and Allie both make the difficult decision to have preventive double mastectomies. Their surgeries at St. Luke's were within one month of each other.
Allie, who recently graduated from college and is planning her wedding, may not be grateful for the genetics she was handed, but she has chosen to focus on what she can control.
"I feel blessed that I got to have the surgery - before I got cancer," said Allie.
More about Robin and Allie's story:
Robin began getting mammograms at age 25. Her mom had developed breast cancer at age 47. Allie found her first breast lump at age 17. She had a lumpectomy to remove it after it continued growing.
About going through the BreastAdvantage program:
"I cannot tell you how much at ease Becky [the breast care nurse at the Women's Center in Chesterfield Valley and Midwest Breast Care] made me feel," said Robin. "I don't think we could have done this without her."