When Mary Ellen Armstrong’s siblings started to get cancer at young ages, she became curious about her own health. And that curiosity saved her life, and the lives of her children.
Mary Ellen and her son Nate Armstrong sat down with SurvivorNet to discuss an incredibly important topic — hereditary cancer. Many cancers are not inherited from family genes, but some are. And being aware of your family history of the disease is so important when it comes to monitoring your health. In the case of the Armstrong family … because of a genetic mutation, both mother and son had to have their stomachs removed. Read More
“We had been talking as a family … why these younger siblings, they have been approaching 50, and we were finding out they were getting cancer, and then it was gastric cancer,” Mary Ellen said. “So, bring inquisitive, I sort of reached out to scientists to see if anything was being done with this. I really didn’t know anybody with gastric cancer before and that led to our journey.” After Mary Ellen found out she carried that gene, her children had to get tested as well — and three out of four of them also carried it. Nate applauded his mother for being brave in the face of health issues, and essentially saving the lives of him and his siblings. “A lot of people, when they’re faced with health issues, less is more. They don’t wanna know. I think that didn’t satisfy my mom and she did want to know more. I think her instinct that there was something more to this … I think her taking that on is quite amazing.”
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