y brother had colon cancer at age 35, my mother's had four cancers -- breast, endometrial, colon and now she's fighting lung -- her twin brother died of melanoma at age 40 and my mother's mother had four cancers -- three colorectal and one breast," Jill says.
So when the test came back positive for her, she wasn't surprised.
"At age 30, I had colon cancer, and at age 40, endometrial which is uterine cancer," Jill says.
Jill accepted the fact there was a cancer risk in her family, but the random types confused her until she saw a poster in her doctor's office about something called Lynch Syndrome.
"I was like 'oh my gosh, this is my family. Eighty two percent chance of colon cancer, 60 to 71 percent chance of endometrial cancer. I knew I needed to get tested genetically. I needed more information about it and I needed counseling," Jill says.
She called the Center for Genetics at Akron Children's Hospital and Nurse Case Manager Julie Dattoma started putting the pieces of Jill's family together.
Then Jill went in for a blood test so she could have her genes analyzed.
"Anyone who has a strong family history of cancer in their family should call a genetic counselor and talk to them. It's free to call them," Jill says.
But testing can be expensive, from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Dattoma says insurance is getting better about coverage.
"Rather than waiting for that person to develop the cancer, and then treating the cancer on the back end," Dattoma says.
She adds that it's illegal for your insurance company to drop you if you test positive.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) became law in 2008 and also protects you from being fired or demoted from your job because of a genetic health risk.
Jill's instincts were right and she tested positive forLynch Syndrome.
Now that knowledge is power and a weapon to fight back and someday. When her boys are old enough, they can be tested too. They have a fifty percent chance of carrying the same gene as their mom.
"I know what we're dealing with now so I can go to the doctors, have certain procedures and tests, and try to catch it early. At least I know this much, it's not a mystery."