Rochelle Bradley is Susan G. Komen San Diego’s 2015 Co-honorary Survivor

“I learned that many of my family members had breast cancer.”

fran and rochelle hugging for web

In 2008, Rochelle was flying to see her dad who was dying from breast cancer. While she was on a layover she got the call he passed before she even got there.

“I hadn’t been to Michigan in years and when I arrived, I was stunned to see that my cousins and aunts had visible tumors,” said Bradley. “I had no words. I also learned how aggressive and extensive impact breast cancer had on my family.”

It was shocking for her to see her family this way, battling the very disease she fought herself two years prior. In 2006, Rochelle had been diagnosed with Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a type of breast cancer and had undergone radiation. She didn’t even tell her doctors that her father had breast cancer because she didn’t think it was important and she didn’t know the severity of it. After her shocking visit home, she realized her situation was much worse than originally thought.

“As soon as I returned to San Diego I called my oncologist and got the genetic testing, which proved my original diagnosis was worse, I had tested positive for the BRCA II mutation,” said Bradley. “I then had a double mastectomy and hysterectomy in 2009. I have been in remission since March 2006.”

Testing positive for the BRCA I and BRCA II genetic mutation increases ones risk of a breast cancer diagnosis by 45 to 65 percent. On Rochelle’s father side both his mother and father were carriers of the genetic mutation, which increased her risk of breast cancer.