ALBANY, N.Y. - Angelina Jolie announced to the world that she has undergone a double mastectomy, after a test revealed she carried a gene mutation that sharply increased her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Now a local woman who also tested positive for the same gene is sharing her story with the NEWS CENTER.
Jaime Rulison says she's happy Jolie's decisions has brought the issue to the forefront. Rulison says she tested positive for the cancer causing gene and now like Jolie she's made a tough choice to try and stop her chances of getting the disease.
"He said you know we can put a number on it but every female on your side of the family has had cancer except you so that's the number I'm going with is I'm next and I don't want to be next," said Rulison of Johnstown.
At just 21-years-old, Jaime Rulison tested positive for BRCA 1. It's a gene mutation that greatly increases your chance of getting breast and ovarian cancer.
"I want to see my kids grow old. I don't want them to have to go through dealing with cancer like we did with my mom," said Rulison.
Her grandmother died from breast cancer at 53. Her aunt Helene died at 46 from ovarian cancer and her mom is a breast and ovarian cancer survivor. Now 30-years-old, with two children, Rulison has made the tough decision to remove her ovaries.
"Just having the hysterectomy is going to decrease my chances of both ovarian and breast cancer," said Rulison.
Oncologist Dr. Karen Tedesco says preventative surgery isn't for everyone but for those with a strong family history like Rulison and the gene mutation need to discuss it.
"If people have their ovaries removed that can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by about 96 percent," said Rulison.
Rulison's Aunt also had a hysterectomy, but still got ovarian cancer. She says despite the risks, she's confident with her decision.
"Emotionally going through menopause at 30 isn't going to be easy but I do have the support of my family," said Rulison.
Rulison says her insurance will pay for her surgery. Dr. Tedesco says the genetic testing is recommended more for those who have a strong family history like Rulison and the gene mutation.
New York Oncology and Hematology does offer the genetic testing. You can reach their Albany office at 518-489-0044.
341 Northern Blvd., Albany, NY 12204
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