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Local woman says she owes her life to genetic counseling

Posted at 8:27 AM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 11:27:21-04

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — A local woman credits a genetic test to saving her life.

“If I would’ve never had genetic testing I would’ve never known," said Shelby Rhynes. "I wouldn’t have lived another year. I wouldn’t have made it to my 37th birthday. I would’ve passed away."

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Shelby decided to do a genetic test to see her family's medical history. After a vial of blood, she spoke with a genetic counselor.

"The next day I came and I had a mammogram and genetic testing. I tested positive for CDH 1 gene only 1% of women who get breast cancer and are going to be diagnosed with the CDH 1 gene, its very rare," said Rhynes.

We spoke with a genetic counselor who tells us how beneficial and preventative it can be.

“In my world I do genetic counseling for cancer patients mainly but also their families when they come in we do an evaluation on what their family risk is and who is involved in their family the paternal and maternal so mothers and fathers they have just the same risk of passing a genetic mutation to their children," said Julie Skelton, Genetic Counselor.