Buddy Check: Cancer gene bonds mother and daughter

12:08 AM, Nov 11, 2010   |    comments
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Three years ago, a lump under Kimberly Chadwell's arm signaled a problem.  A mammogram didn't show anything suspicious but an MRI revealed two lumps in her breast.

"I had absolutely no breast cancer history in my family," said Chadwell.

She was also tested for the breast cancer gene. It came back positive.  That prompted her 23 year old daughter Brittany Hodge to undergo the testing as well.

"I tested positive for the gene.  While they say its bad news, to me, you know the risks," said Hodge.

Women who carry the breast cancer gene are five times more likely to develop the disease than a woman without the gene.

Knoxville breast surgeon, Dr. George Webber, says for those patients, knowledge is power, coupled with consistent checks.

"One of the things we are finding is we can catch these things at an earlier stage and they never progress to invasive disease."

But Brittany isn't willing to take a chance with her life.  She's made the decision to have her breasts removed even though she doesn't have cancer.

"I don't trust the surveillance. To me, the only way of preventing breast cancer is to have the surgery."

Kimberly supports her daughter's decision.

"She has information I would have loved to have."

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