Personal Story: Lisa

At a glance

The story of Lisa, a 41-year-old woman with a family history of breast cancer.


Lisa's story

My family history with breast cancer doesn’t predict my future. It helps me make informed decisions. Lisa
"My family history with breast cancer doesn’t predict my future. It helps me make informed decisions." —Lisa

Since breast cancer runs in my family, I knew my own risk might be higher. I didn't want to keep wondering about my risk, so I talked to my doctor about it and took control of my health.

Motivated by my family to understand my risk

Four women in my family were diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50. After my kids were born, I began exploring my own risk. I didn't want cancer to affect me like it did my loved ones.

I discussed my family history with my doctor and decided to get genetic counseling and testing.

My genetic test did not find a BRCA gene mutation. However, the results did not rule out other non-BRCA genetic mutations that could also increase my risk.

Lisa: Start the Conversation About Family History of Breast Cancer

Lisa talks about how she realized that having family members with pre-menopausal breast and ovarian cancer meant that she has a higher risk of getting cancer before she turned 45.

Being my healthiest self

Talking to my doctor and a genetic counselor about my risk allowed me to make the best decisions for my health. I am motivated to stay healthy to be there for my children.

I get frequent breast cancer screenings. I also exercise (especially jogging and taking exercise classes), cook and eat healthy foods, and limit how much alcohol I drink.

Lisa’s videos

Lisa: Empower Yourself by Learning Your Family's Cancer History‎

Lisa's family history of breast and ovarian cancer puts her at higher risk for getting cancer in the future. Watch this video to learn how she's used this information to empower herself.

Lisa: My Experience with BRCA Counseling and Testing‎

Lisa, age 41, talks about how her family history led her to get genetic counseling and testing for BRCA gene mutations. She describes the genetic testing experience, and how it helped her understand her family history and manage her risk for breast cancer.

Lisa: Be Your Own Health Advocate‎

Lisa, age 41, talks about her decision to get genetic counseling and testing to find out if she had a BRCA gene mutation, and how the experience empowered her to understand her options and be her own best health advocate.