Hawaii's melting pot of cultures could turn into an important economic driver in the 21st centuryUPDATED 5:49 AM HST Sep 17, 2013Video Transcript
CANCER might come with the highest stakes.. Genetic testing isn't fool-proof.. And it's not for everyone.. But KITV4's Lara Yamada shows us... one mother says she HAD to know... And then felt she HAD to act.. 151 He was lying on his stomach and he found a lump. At only 33 years old, Hermelita Oliphares' brother was diagnosed with stage-4 breast cancer. 247-56 It was scary. The first thing that was going through my mind was how are we going to deal with this? What if I have it? Barely over 30 herself, and terrified, she turned to her husband and three boys -- now 2, 4 and 15 -- to find strength. 421-30 My husband just told me, just think about our kids, do what's best, and I'm going to be there for you all the way. 2-SHOT NATS: 1545 We look for certain red flags. Allison Taylor Shykowski, a genetic counselor at the Queen's Medical Center, says genetic testing proved Oliphares indeed had a mutation in the gene most commonly associated with breast cancer called BRCA. In addition -- a family tree -- confirming the patterns of high-risk patients: -A clustering of cancer cases in relatives. -More than one cancer. -Cancer at an earlier age. -And cancer in men. 2655-59 It can be really hard depending on what people have seen in their family. Olipares says her brother's cancer spread to his bones, to his brain... before he died... three days after our interview. 438-46 It made me realize, I would rather be there for my kids, then suffer the way my brother suffered. With an 85% chance of getting cancer, Olipares decided to take control: This year -- having preventative mastectomy. Next year -- a hysterectomy. Extreme measures... through an educated choice... for a mom looking forward to a long life. 3248-55 Often times the information is reassuring and having some information to empower their health. 755-01 I'm still the same person. It's not going to change my whole atittude! Up to 10-percent of breast cancer cases are based on heredity. A mutation in that B-R-C-A gene means a significantly higher risk of a first AND SECOND bout with breast cancer -- as well as ovarian cancer. In addition to genetic testing, researchers are working on testing entire PANELS of genes -- to catch more mutations and lower the costs for testing.