Saturday, June 8

Angelina’s Disclosure Highlights a Breast Cancer Dilemma -

Angelina Jolie’s disclosure that she had her breasts removed this year in the hope of preventing breast cancer highlights the painful dilemma facing other women who, like her, learn that they carry genetic mutations that greatly increase the risk of the disease. Her condition, a defective version of a gene called BRCA1, is not common. Mutations in that gene and another called BRCA2 are estimated to cause only 5 percent to 10 percent of breast cancers and 10 percent to 15 percent of ovarian cancers among white women in the United States. The mutations are found in other racial and ethnic groups as well, but it is not known how common they are in those groups.

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