Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Angelina Jolie's Double Mastectomy Due to Breast Cancer Gene

Well-known, Oscar-winning actress, Angelina Julie, Brad Pitt's 8-year partner, has just announced she has undergone a double preventive mastectomy--both breasts surgically removed--in April 2013. The reason is that she had learned she has BRCA1, a "gene that significantly raised her risk of breast cancer." (Watch videos and read more below).

The following are questions related to Julie's procedure from the CBC news website: 

"What kind of surgery did Jolie have?
Jolie had a preventive double mastectomy, meaning she chose to have both her breasts removed even though she had not been diagnosed with cancer.
Why did she have the mastectomies?
Jolie says that she has a "faulty" version of the BRCA1 gene that means she had an 87 per cent chance of getting breast cancer. By having both breasts removed, she said her breast cancer risk drops to below 5 per cent.
What did the procedure involve?
In double mastectomies, surgeons typically remove as much breast tissue as possible. In Jolie's case, because she was having a reconstruction done shortly afterward, the doctors preserved the skin covering her breasts, inserting "fillers" where the breast tissue would have been, to keep the skin elastic. According to Jolie, she had implants put in nine weeks later.
How many women have this faulty gene?
  • Angelina Jolie
1 of 12
Only a small percentage of women have this same faulty gene, or a similar mutated version of a related gene, BRCA2. These mutations are most commonly found in women of Eastern European Jewish descent; one study found 2.3 per cent of women in that group had the mutations — about five times higher than in the general population. Other ethnic groups, including the Norwegian, Dutch and Icelandic people, also have slightly higher rates of these mutations.
A genetic test using a blood test can usually detect these genes.
How do these genes increase a woman's risk of breast cancer?
The average woman has a 12 per cent risk of developing breast cancer sometime during her life. In comparison, women who have inherited a faulty version of a breast cancer gene are about five times more likely to get breast cancer. In the U.S., about five to 10 per cent of breast cancers are thought to be linked to harmful versions of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
What other options might Jolie have had?
Doctors would likely have suggested earlier screening tests, including mammograms or MRIs, but those would only help them spot breast cancer earlier, not prevent it. They might also consider using breast cancer drugs preventively, though trials into their long-term use is still ongoing. "This is not a decision that people take lightly," said Dr. Emma Pennery, clinical director at the British charity, Breast Cancer Care. "You cannot decide to have a double mastectomy next week."
How relevant is Jolie's decision to other women?
For most women, genetics will not play a big part in whether or not they get breast cancer. "The majority of women considering their breast cancer risk should focus on things like a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet, keeping a healthy weight and not drinking too much alcohol," said Dr. Peter Johnson, chief clinician at Cancer Research U.K. About one-third of breast cancer cases in Britain are largely tied to modifiable lifestyle risk factors.
But for women with a similar genetic risk to Jolie, it's possible her decision to go public about her double mastectomies will prompt more procedures. "It's a very empowering message that women are not helpless when faced with a genetic cancer risk," Johnson said."
Julie explains in her own voice in this video: 

Kindly read this piece of news carefully as this is news after all. The implications of this courageous step by the actress are yet to be analyzed in the future. We will post again in that regard. Feel free to post below your own thoughts and experiences to share with our community and audience.

Wishing all women the best breast health!
MBH Social Media Team

- CBC news: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/05/14/angelina-jolie-breast-cancer-questions.html

Videos (in order): 
- The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraphtv/10055938/Angelina-Jolie-will-have-huge-impact-on-breast-cancer-awareness-says-Michelle-Heaton.html
- The Star: http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/2013/05/14/angelina_jolie_has_double_mastectomy_over_breast_cancer_risk.html

Images (in order):
- http://www.google.ca/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=RAbQdEVhWGyIfM&tbnid=Gq3Gh7-VKh1IoM:&ved=0CAcQjB0wADgl&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aceshowbiz.com%2Fnews%2Fview%2F00053270.html&ei=io2SUa_4F8qniAKd9oDADA&psig=AFQjCNGiTJlKAgQWnIo_pTwarIvR-GeJlw&ust=1368645386444919


  1. Superb post and nice blog, I saw excellent news about Angelina Jolie
    Angelina Jolie

  2. For this time the hot news for all the readers on breast cancer is the actress and great donor for poor children Angelina Jolies double mastectomy wearing a type of surgery by which breast will be removed. Through this system anyone's breast cancer possibility will be come down to 5%. This is a record for BRCA1 possibility breast cancer patient. Angelina jolie is not sure about her breast cancer right now but considering her family history she is throwing a dout on it. Her aunt has breast cancer and died for it. Angelina Jolie is now happy with mastectomy surgery, she told on a video.

  3. Thanks Mehndi and Talatmahmud for your kind words. We appreciate your comments :)


Please include your initials or first name just so we know a bit about you :)....