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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2013 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
Angelina Jolie announced that she had a preventive double mastectomy because she had a  gene that made likely she would get breast cancer . Writing in the New York Times, Jolie, 37, said: “My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was. They have asked if the same could happen to me.” In 2007, Times Staff Writer Anna Gorman wrote about the drastic surgery she had after learning she had the genetic mutation, BRCA1.
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NEWS
June 13, 2013 | By Jon Healey
This post has been corrected, as noted below. When it took up the issue of patents on human genes, the Supreme Court seemed torn by two conflicting interests: the long-standing principle that products of nature can't be patented, and the commercial reality that companies won't invest in crucial but risky R&D efforts unless they have a chance to patent what they develop. The justices tried to serve both ends Thursday. Their unanimous ruling in Association for Molecular Pathology rejected the patents that Myriad Genetics had on two gene sequences isolated from humans, but upheld the ones over synthesized versions of those sequences that differ from the ones found in the body -- a concession that's important to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
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HEALTH
December 9, 2002 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
Questions about the link between breast cancer and birth control pills have lingered for years. To date, research has shown only a slight increase in breast cancer risk among younger women who take oral contraceptives. And two years ago, a study indicated that only women who took pills made before 1975, when the estrogen content of pills was much higher, are at increased risk.
SCIENCE
June 13, 2013 | By Amina Khan
When Dr. Wayne Grody heard that the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Myriad Genetics could not patent two genes linked to breast cancer, the UCLA medical geneticist was minutes from giving a well-worn speech on the years-old case to a room full of University of Oregon medical school students. "I improvised when I got to the very end," Grody said. The court's 9-0 decision in the case involving the Utah-based Myriad Genetics was welcome news to Grody as well as other doctors and genetic counselors concerned about future research and genetic counselors who said they've had their hands tied by the company's high prices and tough patent enforcement.
NEWS
September 23, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Wanda Sykes has revealed to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres that she had a double mastectomy this year after doctors found evidence of early-stage breast cancer in her left breast. As she explains on the program set to air on Monday, it all started with routine breast-reduction surgery. But then pathologists discovered that she had ductal carcinoma in situ, also known as DCIS. “I was very, very lucky, because DCIS is basically stage zero cancer,” Sykes told DeGeneres.
NEWS
October 12, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Having mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes lead to a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancers in women, but the mutations don't affect health outcomes in exactly the same way. A team led by researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston reported Tuesday that having a mutated BRCA2 gene was associated with improved survival and chemotherapy response among a group of women with ovarian cancer.   In fact, women with BRCA2 mutations had better survival after treatment than women without mutations on either gene, the group wrote in a study published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
NEWS
April 15, 2013 | By Peter D. Meldrum
In their April 12 Op-Ed article " Who should own DNA? All of us ," Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar write about Myriad's patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2, the so-called breast cancer genes (which were under review Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court), as if they have served little purpose in the development of tests that have helped more than 1 million women to understand their risks of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The patents do not cover human genes from anyone's body.
NEWS
July 29, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Really?  A company can patent a human gene? Yes, an appeals court decided Friday, in a closely watched case pitting a coalition that includes the American Civil Liberties Union, physicians and health advocates against Salt Lake City-based biotech firm Myriad Genetics Inc. For the Record, 4:14 p.m. July 29: An earlier version of this post implied that the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes increase the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, and...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 27, 2013 | By Carla Rivera
An aunt of Angelina Jolie who carried a same gene mutation linked to breast cancer as the actress has died of the disease at an Escondido hospital, according to an interview with her husband. Debbie Martin, 61, passed away early Sunday, only a few weeks after Jolie announced that she had undergone surgery to remove both of her healthy breasts as a preventive measure because she carried the defective BRCA1 gene. Jolie wrote about her decision in a May 14 op-ed in the New York Times.
HEALTH
October 4, 2010 | By Jill U Adams, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Every woman — and man — is at some risk of getting breast cancer, and some of that risk is passed from parent to child. Variants in two genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, greatly increase the risk of developing the disease. So far, scientists have identified dozens of BRCA mutations that confer an added risk. Children of carriers — either the mother or the father — have a 50% chance of inheriting these mutations. Enter modern medicine to take chance out of the equation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 27, 2013 | By Carla Rivera
An aunt of Angelina Jolie who carried a same gene mutation linked to breast cancer as the actress has died of the disease at an Escondido hospital, according to an interview with her husband. Debbie Martin, 61, passed away early Sunday, only a few weeks after Jolie announced that she had undergone surgery to remove both of her healthy breasts as a preventive measure because she carried the defective BRCA1 gene. Jolie wrote about her decision in a May 14 op-ed in the New York Times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times
Four days after her April 27 breast reconstruction, the third and final surgery aimed at sparing her an early death from breast cancer, Angelina Jolie was in good spirits at home. Upon paying a house call, her surgeon, Dr. Kristi Funk of the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Beverly Hills, found two walls of the actress' home covered with "freshly assembled story boards" for her next directorial project. "All the while she spoke," the doctor later wrote on her blog, "six drains dangled from her chest, three on each side, fastened to an elastic belt around her waist.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 2013 | By Christie DZurilla
After undergoing a cancer-preventive double mastectomy and breast reconstruction, Angelina Jolie will follow up with surgery to remove her ovaries, according to a report in People magazine. Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of ovarian cancer at age 56 after fighting the disease for a decade, and doctors said Jolie had a 50% chance of developing the same, the actress revealed in an op-ed this week in the New York Times. The 37-year-old mother of six said she and her children have often discussed "Mommy's mommy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2013 | By Joseph Serna, This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
Angelina Jolie said the decision to undergo a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer "wasn't easy. " In an op-ed in the New York Times under the headline “My Medical Choice,” the Oscar-winning actress said she underwent surgical procedures to remove both breasts between February and April. Jolie, 37, said that genetic testing discovered she had the BRCA1 gene , which increased her chances of developing breast cancer to 87%. PHOTOS: Celebrities react to Jolie's double-mastectomy decision   She said she went public with her procedure to help other women.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2013 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
Angelina Jolie announced that she had a preventive double mastectomy because she had a  gene that made likely she would get breast cancer . Writing in the New York Times, Jolie, 37, said: “My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was. They have asked if the same could happen to me.” In 2007, Times Staff Writer Anna Gorman wrote about the drastic surgery she had after learning she had the genetic mutation, BRCA1.
SCIENCE
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.
SCIENCE
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...
SCIENCE
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...
NEWS
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.
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