Little Rock, Ark. (KTHV) - After Oscar winner Angelina Jolie revealed she had a double mastectomy to reduce risk of cancer, others are considering options to avoid future health scares.
One family discovered they had a mutated gene which puts individuals at risk for developing cancer.
"I think it's more scary for me than it is for her," saidLaurie Loyd.
Loyd is a breast health navigator at Baptist Health. She helps individuals who are dealing with breast cancer from the moment they are diagnosed to the moment they complete their treatment.
So the fact that her own daughter had to face that daunting diagnosis was very scary.
"We found out when my daughter was 24," Loyd continued.
Four years ago Laurie Loyd's husband discovered his mother had a BRCA 2 mutation.
"It's very important to get a family tested, and it's not just for women because the BRCA 2 mutation carries an increased risk for prostate cancer that I think a lot of people kind of forget about," explained Dr. Amanda Ferrel, medical director at Baptist Health.
She reviews the medical history of individuals who may be at risk for developing cancer. Most women have about a 12% chance of developing breast cancer. With the gene mutation, that percentage goes up to 50-80 percent during that person's lifetime.
"You're not generally on the radar at 25-30 years old," Loyd added. "They don't start getting mammograms until they're 40 unless there is a first-degree relative."
Had Loyd's husband not looked into his family history, their daughter could have been one of the many that slip through the cracks. And knowing means she can take more preventative measures. For now, that does not mean a double mastectomy, just more routine checks.
"She's good with how that's working out for her right now, and she's not overly anxious about it," Loyd concluded.