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Angelina Jolie Undergoes Double Mastectomy

Angelina-JolieAngelina Jolie has undergone a double mastectomy to prevent the onset of breast cancer. The actress penned an op-ed in the New York Times explaining her radical decision. She made the decision after learning she carries a mutation of the BRCA1 gene, which sharply increases her risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

“My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman,” Jolie wrote. “Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy.”

“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made,” Jolie writes. “My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”

According to elev8.com, the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments challenging the BRCA 1/2 gene testing patents of Myriad Genetics that prevent academic cancer centers from offering the tests at lower prices. The BRCA story at the National Cancer Institute states in general terms that totality of all so-called germline mutations — the ones that you’re born with, inherited from your parents — occur in just 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases.

Kudos to Angelina for her bravery, especially in Hollywood where your body is your money maker!

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