Local nurse hopes to educate women about breast cancer prevention

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 5:24 PM EDT
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RICHLANDS, Va. (WVVA) - Katelyn Bartley decided to have a double mastectomy when she was just 24 years old. Bartley says she made that decision after genetic testing revealed she inherited a cancer mutation from her mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016.

“I really was the type of person that didn’t want that held over my head for the rest of my life. So it was a very drastic decision to have a mastectomy. It’s not right for everybody. For me I did want to do that so it wasn’t hanging over my head for the rest of my life,” said Bartley.

Bartley was studying to be a registered nurse when she found out she had the mutation. Now, working as a registered nurse at Clinch Valley Health, she’s hoping to share the power of prevention with other women when it comes to breast cancer.

“There is something you can do to be proactive about that. I feel like the more you investigate your family history, the more you can be proactive about your health. Luckily clinch valley offers all of that,” said Bartley.

Hereditary cancer testing isn’t the only way to lower breast cancer risks.

“Preventative surgeries, increased surveillance, you can have a breast MRI in addition to a mammography every year, more frequent colonoscopies. All of those medical management changes are built to either catch cancer earlier or prevent it all together,” said Leanne Keen, the Hereditary Cancer Coordinator at Clinch Valley Health.

Thanks to the genetic testing and surgery, Bartley’s chances of getting breast cancer fell from 80-percent to about two-percent. A living testament to what proactive action can do to reduce the chances of contracting the second-leading killer when it comes to cancer in women.

To learn more about the genetic testing at Clinch Valley Health you can go here: https://www.clinchvalleyhealth.com/cancer-care/hereditary-cancer-coordinator-program-1