Kuerer of the Anderson Cancer Center said, "They find this to be somewhat empowering in that, to an extent, they have the ultimate power in potentially altering their future medical health with prophylactic mastectomy.
They cite that they will no longer need mammograms and not have to undergo the stress of additional biopsies and chemotherapy."
Schlager said her emotions ran the gamut from anxiety to empowerment.
"I saw a therapist before I made the decision, after I made the decision and while I was going through the surgeries. I kept wondering if I was making the right choice."
Now, however, she said she believes she did, and volunteers with FORCE, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
"This study and all the information out there make me feel validated that I wasn't crazy or I wasn't taking extreme measures," she said. "I feel like I was given a gift because I had the knowledge I needed to make a choice for myself."