Jen Hatajik always knew she had a risk of developing breast cancer. Jen was 25 when her own mother died 2 years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.\nHer gynecologist suggested genetic testing, but the young mother instead relied on self-examinations and regular mammograms. \u201cI guess I was afraid,\u201d says Jen, senior human resource consultant at UPMC Altoona.\nLast year, the Duncansville resident found a lump in her breast. She was referred to breast surgeon Dianna Craig, MD, at Magee-Womens Specialty Center at UPMC Altoona and learned she had metastatic breast cancer, which had spread to her lymph nodes.\nThis time, Jen didn\u2019t hesitate when Dr. Craig recommended genetic counseling and testing to determine the best treatment.\n\u201cI had to do it. I wanted to know why I got cancer and how to treat it,\u201d says Jen, 41, a mother of 3. \u201cI needed to know if my children were at risk.\nThe Magee-Womens Specialty Center offers Blair County\u2019s first comprehensive breast health service, giving women a female-centered and enhanced patient care experience. And, telehealth visits for reproductive endocrinology and breast cancer genetics allow area patients access to high-level specialty services in Pittsburgh, without as much travel. Explore more reasons to choose UPMC Altoona at UPMCAltoona.org\/Reasons.\nCounseling via Videoconferencing\nThere are no genetic counselors in the Altoona area. Instead, Jen went to the UPMC Teleconsult Center at Station Medical Center for an online face-to-face meeting with a specialist at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. Her father flew in from Florida to help answer questions.\n\u201cIt was great. We met with the genetic counselor via videoconferencing and went through my entire family history,\u201d says Jen.\nRELATED: What You Can Expect at Your First Mammogram\n\u201cBeing able to talk to an expert face-to-face is important. We could see her and she could see us \u2014 and we didn\u2019t have to drive to Pittsburgh for that expertise.\u201d\nAlso in the room was Cheryl Litzinger, RN, BSN, UPMC Altoona\u2019s oncology nurse navigator. She assists women with the necessary questionnaires and paperwork, and arranges their meeting with the genetic counselor.\n\u201cIt\u2019s important for patients to talk to the genetic counselor, go over their risk assessment, and discuss options for genetic testing and cancer risk reduction,\u201d says Cheryl. \u201cThat information helps patients and doctors determine the next step.\u201d\nRELATED: Are Ovarian and Cervical Cancers Treatable?\nAn Informed Decision\nWithin a few weeks, Jen had the answers she needed: She tested positive for a BRCA 2 mutation passed down from her mother. \u201cThere was no longer any question \u2014 I was absolutely having both breasts removed,\u201d she says. \u201cIt was a relief to know why it happened and what needed to be done.\u201d\nUltimately, Jen underwent a bilateral mastectomy. Because she was also diagnosed as HER2 positive, which means her cancer feeds off estrogen, she had a total hysterectomy to prevent ovarian cancer.\nNow cancer free, Jen continues to monitor her skin, eyes, and breast area for cancers that may develop. She has shared her information with other family members, including her children, who have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the mutation.\nAnd she\u2019s talked frankly with her daughter, who is 12. \u201cKnowledge is power. She has the power to control this,\u201d says Jen.