(NBC/WRCB) - At 40, Elizabeth Krause is battling breast cancer, even though she doesn't have it.
"My mother had it, her mother had it, and several of her sisters had it," said Krause.
Krause tested positive for the breast cancer gene mutation, which means her risk of getting it is much higher.
"I didn't realize how much it was my boogeyman until recently. That it's always been a little bit of a fear for me," said Krause.
Rather than fear it, Krause entered Presbyterian Hospital's Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program.
"We're doing clinical breast exams twice a year on those that have the genetic mutation," said Daphne McDonald, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. "We're also doing twice yearly imaging."
Technology plays a role, but counseling also plays a major role.
A healthy diet and exercise is laid out, and depending on the patient, sometimes preventative drugs are prescribed.
"We're empowering these women to be proactive in their care," said McDonald. "We're giving them a team of experts prior to the diagnosis of breast cancer."
Krause says taking control brought peace of mind, which for her was more than half the battle.
"Finding the high risk breast program made me feel like I wasn't alone in this," said Krause. "When I didn't know what to do next, they helped me figure it out."