Katy mother makes decision to remove breasts after cancer-linked gene was found through genetic testing

KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and with more genetic testing available, discoveries of new cancer-linked genes are saving lives.

A Katy mother is relieved after her difficult decision to remove both her breasts after testing positive for the chek-2 gene mutation.

"So I am done with the process. I did the mastectomy, I had two reconstructive surgeries with Dr. (Patrick) Hsu, and my last one being in June. So at this point, I am three months out from my last surgery. I'm healthy," Kristin Adams said.

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A Katy mother opted to opting both breasts, even though she's perfectly healthy.

Kristin shared her journey with us last year as she learned of this lesser known, though cancer-linked gene that took the lives of so many women in her family.

"Once I got the positive gene, once I got the test, for me, it was kind of a no-brainer in terms of wanting to do something," Adam said. "I don't want to sit back and do nothing."

As a wife, mother of two and boot camp instructor, it was important for her to be proactive and get a head start.

"Whether proactive is staying on top of your yearly mammograms, talking to your family about family history, you know, if you need to get, if you qualify for genetic testing, if that's something you and your doctor thinks that you need to do, staying on top of that," she said.

With 3-D mammograms, improvements to early screening processes and genetic testing, Houston plastic surgeon Patrick Hsu says detecting breast cancer in younger patients has become more common.

"So there is a growing subset of younger patients who are now being genetically tested and are found to have one of probably three, four genetic mutations and are being recommended to have a prophylactic mastectomy or preventative mastectomy," Dr. Hsu said.

Fortunately, women have many choices. It's not a one size fits all decision.

"Some patients are very emotionally attached and they would like to keep one of their breasts, which is not a wrong answer. And then there are patients who don't want to ever worry about it again," Dr. Hsu says.

Today, feeling stronger than ever, Kristen has no regrets.

"I feel good and confident every step of the way and that is just, it just feels good. It feels good to know that I've done this for me and for my family," Kristin said.

You can read more about Kristin's journey on her blog.
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