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Women with gene at significant risk for breast, ovarian cancer - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Women with gene at significant risk for breast, ovarian cancer

Women with the BRCA gene are at a significant increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

Sherice Torres found out she carried the BRCA gene mutation three years ago.

"My mother is a three time cancer survivor and her first incident was in her early 30s so we knew I was at high risk at developing breast cancer myself," Torres said.

The average woman has a 12% risk of developing breast cancer at some point in their lives. Women who inherit the breast cancer gene mutation have a more than a 60% increased risk for the disease.

Like Angelina Jolie, Torres chose to have a double mastectomy to lower her cancer risk. The mother of two also had her ovaries taken out.

Doctors recommend the BRCA gene test for people who have a strong personal or family history of breast cancer. The blood test can run in the thousands.

Women who don't want surgery have the option of undergoing aggressive screening. But Lenox Hill's doctor Stephanie Bernik says surgery gives patients the best chance to lower their cancer risk.

"The decision for some women is extremely easier, for other women the decision is very difficult," Torres said.

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