With actress Angelina Jolie’s revelation in the New York Times that she chose to have a preventive double mastectomy because she carried the high-risk BRCA1 gene, many people are learning of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations — and the enormous susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer these hereditary mutations represent for carriers — for the first time.
Jolie is encouraging wider access to affordable genetic testing and treatment for all women. She writes that the preventive double mastectomy reduced her chances of developing breast cancer from 87% to 5%
Yale Cancer Center has several experts who are available today and this week to speak to reporters. They are:
- Dr. Anees Chagpar, associate professor of surgical oncology at Yale Cancer Center and director of the Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven;
- Ellen Matloff, director of the cancer genetic counseling program at Yale School of Medicine;
- Dr. Lajos Pusztai, co-director of the cancer genetics research program at Yale School of Medicine and director of breast medical oncology