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Survey shows Angelina Jolie mastectomy revelation has encouraged more women to consider gene test

by , 16 August 2013

It seems the news that Angelina Jolie had undergone a double mastectomy in May this year struck a chord with many women. A recent survey shows a growing number of U.S. women now say they may ask their doctors whether the same preventive measure is right for them. Here are the details of the survey and why you should also consider doing this procedure.

Film star Angelina Jolie made headlines earlier this year when she revealed she’d had a double mastectomy. Jolie made the decision after doctors told her she had an 87% risk of breast cancer. She also said she planned to have her ovaries removed, after learning that she carried a gene mutation linked to breast and ovarian cancers.

Undergoing a double mastectomy helps reduce your risk of cancer especially if there’s a history of breast cancer in your family.
It seems more women are now thinking of reducing their cancer risk as well.

More women consider gene test after Angelina Jolie mastectomy revelation

According to Medicine.Net, a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll of nearly 1,100 U.S. women found that almost all women (86%) had heard of Jolie’s double mastectomy. And 5% of those women said they would seek medical advice on having a preventive mastectomy or ovary removal because of Jolie’s decision.

Harris Poll chairman Humphrey Taylor is quoted as saying, that may seem like a small percentage but it translates to about 6 million women nationwide.

Jolie carries a mutation in a gene called BRCA1. According to the American Cancer Society, defects in that gene and another, called BRCA2, substantially raise a woman's lifetime risks of breast and ovarian cancers to roughly 60% chance of developing breast cancer and a 15% to 40% risk of ovarian cancer, Medicine.Net reports.

While this study was conducted in the US, it’s worth it to also think about having a mastectomy to reduce your risk especially if there’s a history of cancer in your family. This is crucial considering that breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women around the world.

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