Women’s Stories

There isn’t just one face to breast cancer.

Learn more about breast cancer in young women through the stories of women whose lives have been deeply affected by it.


Amy, 33, has a family history of cancer and is of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. She tested positive for a BRCA2 gene mutation in 2013. A genetic counselor helped her understand the options for managing her risk. Amy opted for surveillance.


When Cara was 3 years old, her mom passed away from breast cancer. At 22, she tested positive for a BRCA1 gene mutation. Three years later, Cara’s first breast MRI found cancer. Cara, 30, is now cancer-free. She is of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.

Photo of Carletta

A year after her father passed away from colon cancer, Carletta was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41. Since completing her treatment in 2013, Carletta looks back on how she manages the highs and lows of being a cancer survivor and learning how to ask for help.


Cassie, 42, has three aunts on her mother’s side of the family who were diagnosed with breast cancer. At 32, Cassie learned she has a BRCA1 gene mutation. To address her increased risk, Cassie opted to have preventive surgeries.


When Charity was diagnosed with breast cancer at 27, she faced a series of difficult decisions. Find out how she took a proactive approach to her health—and what she wants other young women to know about their breast cancer risks.

Emily and Caroline with their mother

When Emily and Caroline found out their mom had a BRCA gene mutation, they decided to get tested themselves. They chose different paths, but their support for each other and their decisions remained unwavering.


After watching many relatives on her father’s side of the family pass away from cancer, Jackie learned she has a BRCA1 gene mutation. To manage her risk, she decided to have her ovaries removed and undergoes regular screening for breast cancer.


Jennifer was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27 after noticing a lump in her breast. When her cancer unexpectedly came back four years later, she advocated for herself to get the best care.


In Lisa’s family, four women younger than age 50 have been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. After her kids were born, Lisa, 41, began to look into learning more about her risk.


When Marleah was 8, she watched her mom go through treatment for breast cancer. Her maternal aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother also had breast cancer. At 25, Marleah tested positive for a BRCA2 gene mutation. After discussing her options with a genetic counselor, she chose surveillance to manage her risk.


When lying in bed, Meagan, 22, noticed a lump in her breast. When it did not go away after a few weeks, she went to her health care provider to have it checked. Fortunately, the biopsy results found that the lump was not cancerous.


Joyce Turner, MS, CGC, is a genetic counselor who provides counseling to individuals and families with a history of cancer. She helps patients decide if genetic testing is right for them and counsels patients on the results, explaining their meaning so women can make informed decisions. Learn more about the genetic counseling and testing and the role of family history and BRCA gene mutations in breast cancer from her videos.