Let's Discuss: If Your Cancer Risk Were High, Would You Get a Double Mastectomy?
Actress Angelina Jolie announced today via an op ed in the “New York Times” that she had undergone a preventive double mastectomy and breast reconstruction after a blood test found that she had a “faulty” BRCA1 gene, which increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. In Jolie’s case, the risk was an 87 percent chance of breast cancer and 50 percent chance of ovarian cancer. Jolie’s mother died of breast cancer at age 56.
“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy,” Jolie said in the article. “But it is one I am very happy that I made. 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.”
If a test found that you had a high risk for breast cancer, would you have a double mastectomy like Angelina Jolie? How has breast cancer affected your family?