Angelina Jolie - AP photo
(WZZM) Grand Rapids, Mich- Early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer.
Actress Angelina Jolie announced she had a double mastectomy earlier this year after she found out she carried the BRCA1 breast cancer gene.
The presence of the BRCA1 gene gave Jolie an 86% chance of contacting it, but after the double mastectomy Jolie now has a less than five percent chance.
Genetic tests, such as the BRCA1 test, can be done here in West Michigan.
Genetic Counselor with the Lacks Cancer Center, Sarah Keilman, talks about what options women have. To see the complete interview with Sarah click the video link.
The Centers for Disease Control says mammograms are the best way to catch the disease.
A scan can detect cancer up to three years before a lump can be felt.
There are three different types of mammograms, screen-film, digital and a new 3-D image.
The 3-D X-ray can give a more in-depth picture and uses a slightly higher dose of radiation, but is still considered safe.
This method may be beneficial for women who have had abnormal results in the past or who have dense breasts.
It's reccommended women have mammograms every two years after the age of 50.
For more information on prevention and breast cancer click here.
WZZM 13 is committed to breast cancer awareness through our Friends for Life program.