GREENSBORO, N.C. — A 32-year-old Greensboro woman says getting genetic testing done for breast cancer may have saved her life.
Breast cancer runs in Chelsea Haizlip’s family, both her grandmother and her mother battled it themselves. Due to this, a doctor from her mother’s medical team suggested she get genetic testing done.
After taking the test, she was told she had the BRCA1 gene, a mutation that gave her a higher chance of developing breast cancer.
Haizlip had a mammogram in June of 2020, and everything looked fine.
In October however, she started to feel pain and a small lump on her breast. Shortly after finding the lump she got a biopsy, and in November she was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma stage three breast cancer.
She has stage three cancer on the left breast and stage two cancer on the right
“I never would have thought at 32, that I would be starting a breast cancer journey. Even with me carrying the gene, I thought that it would be when I was much older, like maybe in my 50s or something,” Haizlip says.
She has already gone through two rounds of chemotherapy with 12 more to go, and then she will undergo a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction with radiation.
Haizlip says if it weren’t for the genetic testing, she wouldn’t have undergone a mammogram until she was 40, which is the current recommendation for women. She wants people to know there is no age limit for breast cancer.
According to the National Canter for Biotechnology Information, 7% of women diagnosed with breast cancer were diagnosed before the age of 40.