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May 14, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
Only moments after Angelina Jolie's revealing op-ed was published late Monday, the actress' name was trending on Twitter. From celebrities to cancer survivors, tens of thousands voiced their support for Jolie's decision to undergo a preventive double mastectomy. "I commend Angelina Jolie for her courage and thoughtfulness in sharing her story today regarding her mastectomy. So brave!" wrote Sheryl Crow, a breast cancer survivor herself. "Brave, honest strong," said Oscar winner Marlee Matlin. "Proud of her for using her incredible platform to educate women," added E!
May 14, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Angelina Jolie's revelation that she underwent a preventative double mastectomy may seem like a shocking move to some. But for many women who have dangerous hereditary risks coded into their genes, this kind of surgery before cancer strikes serves as a viable alternative that's been growing in popularity over the last few decades, doctors say. For patients with a dangerous mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes that dramatically raises their risk...
May 14, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
Angelina Jolie 's decision to have a double mastectomy because of a rare gene has generated great interest. But experts are urging caution regarding testing and prophylactic surgery. "This does not mean every woman needs a blood test to determine their genetic risk for breast and/or ovarian cancer ,” said Dr. Otis W. Brawley, the American Cancer Society's chief medical officer. “What it does mean is women should know their cancer family history and discuss it with their regular provider.
May 14, 2013 | By Paul Whitefield
I didn't realize until now that Angelina Jolie and I have something in common: cancer. Or at least risk factors for it. Jolie, of course, has made worldwide headlines with her dramatic op-ed Tuesday in the New York Times describing her decision to undergo a double mastectomy. And clearly, family history played a big role in her choice : “My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56,” Jolie writes. “She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms.
May 14, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian, This post has been corrected, as noted below.
I'd like to raise the teensiest red flag on Angelina Jolie's laudable decision Tuesday to go public about her health struggles in order to help other women benefit from her experience. In an essay published Tuesday in the New York Times, Jolie wrote about opting for an elective, preventive double mastectomy and breast reconstruction after learning she carries the faulty BRCA1 gene, which greatly increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. That inherited mutation, she wrote, gave her an 87% chance of contracting breast cancer, and a 50% chance of contracting ovarian cancer.
May 14, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
Late Monday night, friends and colleagues started sending me Angelina Jolie's op-ed about her decision to have a double mastectomy. Like Jolie, I have the mutation in my BRCA1 gene that pushed my lifetime risk of developing breast cancer to nearly 90%. (It also raised my risk of ovarian cancer above 50%.) Also like Jolie, I chose to get a double mastectomy to reduce my risk of breast cancer to less than 5%. In 2007, I wrote a first-person story in the Los Angeles Times about finding out I had this mutation and how I decided what to do about it. Jolie is an icon of beauty -- and her disclosure doesn't change that.
May 14, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed in the New York Times about getting a double mastectomy after learning that she was at risk of getting breast cancer struck a chord with fellow celebs as well as with Los Angeles Times staffers Anna Gorman and Paul Whitefield , who wrote about their own experiences Tuesday.  Jolie's Op-Ed specifically focuses on BRCA1 and BRCA2, known as the breast cancer genes. “I have always told [my kids] not to worry [about me getting cancer], but the truth is I carry a 'faulty' gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer ,” she writes.
May 14, 2013 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
By opting for surgery to remove her breasts while they were still healthy, Angelina Jolie joined a growing number of women who have used genetic testing to take control of their health. Here are answers to some common questions about how DNA influences breast cancer risk and what women can do about it. What genes are involved in breast cancer? The two primary ones are known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. Hundreds of variants of these genes have been found that make a woman - or a man - more likely to develop breast cancer.
May 14, 2013 | By Amina Khan, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Angelina Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy to reduce breast cancer risk was a natural move given that she carried a dangerously faulty gene, cancer surgeons said, but it's a decision that really befits only a select group of women. Only about 5% of breast cancer patients carry a dangerous mutation in their BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, said Dr. Julian Kim, chief of surgical oncology at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center and chief medical officer of the UH Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland.
May 14, 2013 | By Jon Healey
It's hard to imagine Supreme Court justices paying much attention to the travails of Hollywood's rich and famous. Still, there's an interesting connection between Angelina Jolie's disclosure Tuesday that she underwent a double mastectomy and a case the court is deliberating, the Assn. for Molecular Pathology vs. Myriad Genetics . At issue is whether a human gene sequence can be patented. That's the broad question. The two specific sequences patented by Myriad -- BRCA1 and BRCA2 -- are genes that suppress tumors . A small percentage of women have defective copies of those genes, and they are extremely likely to develop a virulent form of breast cancer.
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