Comedian turns fear of breast cancer into laughs and awareness

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Jokes... about breast cancer? Admittedly a little risque, but comedian Caitlin Brodnick is one of a few who can pull it off.

When I do the best joke it's 100 percent my experience," Brodnick said.

Brodnick doesn't have breast cancer. She actually has never had breast cancer.  And she's taking steps to make sure it stays that way.

"My dad is the only living person in the immediate family. They've all died of cancers," Brodnick said.

At age 25, she was given what many her community feel is like a death sentence.  She was told she had up to an 87 percent likelihood of developing breast cancer in her lifetime, after testing positive for the BRCA-1 mutation gene.

"People call their breasts a ticking time bomb or it's this weird deadline that you have no control over but this huge percentage," she said.

Several years after the diagnosis and that huge percentage hanging over her head, she decided to a have a radical double mastectomy.  She's what they call a "pre-vivor."

And so the Maryland native is not just taking her story to comedy clubs and breast cancer conferences — but also produced an online documentary series in collaboration with Glamour Magazine called "Screw You Cancer," following her journey before and after the surgery.

A comedian and advocate for women’s health, Brodnick said her goal is to educate women globally about the need to be aware and take charge of their own physical well-being.

An inspiration to others, as actress Angelina Jolie was to her, after she publicly announcing her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy, too.