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Knowledge is power: Amanda Burris, breast cancer advocate

After watching her 33-year-old mother and 39-year-old aunt battle breast cancer, Amanda Burris decided to be tested for BRCA1 and BRCA2 at the age of 23. The results, like that of her grandmother, mother, and aunt, came back positive.

Far from dismayed, Amanda says that knowing that she has a variation in the BRCA2 gene, which significantly increases her chance of developing breast cancer, is a step forward.

“For me, knowledge is power,” says Amanda. “The Invitae test gave me the information to take control of my health—and my future.”

Amanda’s mother, Sandy, says that even though it was difficult to hear that she passed the BRCA2 variation to her daughter, she is happy that Amanda is now armed with the knowledge of her specific genetic variation and can work with her healthcare provider to make informed management decisions.

“The interesting thing about genetic testing is that everyone has a history of something,” Amanda says. “Understanding that history—knowing where it comes from and how it works—is very important knowledge.”

“Getting genetic testing really helped because we have a plan and now we understand our options better. It’s all about taking control of my life.”