Nightly News | October 18, 2013
>>> it was this past may that angelina jolie stunned the world when she revealed she'd had a double mastectomy and drew attention to the gene associated with the increase ed risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer . now the biggest medical leave network, quest, said it will offer a test empowering more women and their doctors to make the best choice for treatment. our report tonight from chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman .
>> we're going back home.
>> reporter: barbara hawkins was finishing treatment for breast cancer back in 2010 when she got a late night call from her daughter sarah .
>> i felt a lump in my right breast. i crumbled on my bathroom floor. i just started bawling. first person i call, my mom.
>> reporter: what went through your mind when you heard this over the phone?
>> i could not even believe it.
>> reporter: not only did sarah have stage three breast cancer , she tested positive for the braca gene, making her inherited cancer more aggressive. she got it from her father's side of the family. in fact, her grandfather is a breast cancer survivor. the 25-year-old newlywed was faced with tough decisions.
>> that kind of changed how i uh viewed my diagnose know sis.
>> reporter: how?
>> for treatment options. i just didn't know what i was going to do. but with the jep tick, you know, knowledge then i could make a better decision.
>> reporter: she chose an aggressive approach -- chemotherapy, double mastectomy, radiation and total breast reconstruction . her doctor says more women with the breast cancer gene are choosing this bold and comprehensive strategy to improve their odds.
>> they want to take control of some of the situation and say, i'm having to face this. i want to be in charge of saying this is my surgical choice.
>> reporter: sarah and her husband kirk also forged ahead to plan for a family.
>> i was diagnose nod one day. we were in the fertility clinic the next day.
>> reporter: the couple froze embryos before starting chemo chemothera chemotherapy. now she's just weeks away from having a baby girl . it's a joyful time.
>> i will see a beautiful grand daughter come into this world. i am just so excited.
>> reporter: for sarah , knowing her genetic history is giving her the power to create the life she's always dreamed of. dr. nancy snyderman , nbc news, seattle.