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Knowledge is Power: How Genetic Testing Helped Ellen Make Better Health Decisions

Meghan Hughes

“I think every cancer survivor probably has the same concerns — that the cancer might come back or another cancer might occur and how do you deal with it if it does. Realizing this was a possibility I thought that the genetic testing results, whatever they might be, would help me make better decisions.” — Ellen Gallagher

Every day, we hear how access to genetic testing has helped people and their families proactively manage their health. Our Knowledge is Power Series brings you some of these experiences to share more information for those affected by cancer and for those interested in learning about their personal health.

Today, we’re sharing Ellen Gallagher’s story.

Ellen is a financial advisor from Florida who finds joy in helping people, especially when making their financial future more secure. She has two boys who are 28 and 30 and she hopes to be telling her story another thirty years from now.

Fourteen years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. At only 49, she was not sure what would happen and despite hearing success stories, the diagnosis was still very intimidating. During that time, she had a lumpectomy. Then about six months ago, she felt a lump in her other breast. The screening results were thankfully negative, but she still felt something there. That’s when her surgeon suggested genetic testing.

Wondering why testing would be useful at this stage, her surgeon informed her that it would help them make better decisions based on her results.

When she got the results, she immediately shared them with both her surgeon and her oncologist as partners in her personal health planning. Hear how Ellen’s results reassured her and her doctors that the monitoring plan she is on is still appropriate for her.

We’d love to hear from you as well. Reach out to, if you’d like to share your story.