MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) - Jodi Benck is mother of three and she plans to watch each grow and have children of their own.
But three years ago Benck was faced with some scary news. After her mother was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer Benck decided to get tested for a hereditary gene mutation that increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer exponentially.
After a simple blood test it took two and a half weeks before the results to come back. Benck is a carrier of the mutation BRCA2.
Benck says the wait for the results was harder than hearing news. "Once those results came back it was actually a relief to know that I was able, unlike so many people, to do something about it while I was healthy"
Benck jumped into action. She had her ovaries removed. "I woke up from that surgery immediately into menopause which you basically can't do anything about until it runs its course."
But that was just the beginning. In order to assure herself and her family that Cancer wouldn't take her life Benck went under the knife again... this time it was a double mastectomy.
"This operation can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 90%. It doesn't eliminate the risk." - Dr. Helen Krontiras
"It's so worth it, knowing that I'm healthy, knowing that I've reduced my chances to the normal population if not better, and knowing that my husband and my children weren't going to have to watch me suffer. It was completely worth it. I would do it again."
Benck credits early intervention and the genetic testing for giving her a new lease on life. But, she admits it's not for everyone.
"I would not go for this test unless you want to do something about it. Otherwise, you just have this heavy burden weighing you down every day"
Above all else she recommends you do what's best for you.
You can learn more about BRCA here.
You can hear more from Angelina Jolie regarding her choice to undergo a double mastectomy here.
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