Metro woman weighs same decision Angelina Jolie made

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Michelle Parise's mom was 37 when she first had breast cancer.

"That would be me having breast cancer next year," says 36-year-old Michelle.

When her mom was again diagnosed last year, her mom had a test which showed she has the BRCA-1 mutation. That led Michelle to get tested and learn she has it, too. That means an 87 percent chance of getting breast cancer and also an elevated risk of ovarian cancer.

"You go through stages being angry about it," says Michelle.

Michelle is getting screened every six months, but she wonders if she should just have her breasts removed as Angelina Jolie did.

"You have to do your due diligence. You have to kinda take the emotion out of it a little bit," says Jennifer Klemp, cancer risk counselor at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

Klemp says younger mothers tend to be more likely to choose preventive mastectomies. Michelle has no children. She is single.

"When you're dating somebody maybe they're -- it might run somebody off maybe. I don't know," says Michelle.

But Michelle also knows that if she develops cancer, she'll need chemotherapy.

"Now that I've done more research, I want to avoid chemotherapy if I can," Michelle says.

So she's leaning toward preventive mastectomies. She and the counselor are glad Jolie shared her story so women will talk to their doctors about their family histories and their own breast tissue.

"We have a lot of patients that want to know -- what's my gene status? There's a lot of questions we ask before that," says Jennifer Klemp.

The answers to those questions may lead you to testing: click here

If a mutation is found, women can choose ongoing screening, preventive medication or mastectomies.

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