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Continued: Jolie's bold move sparks discussion of the C-word

  • Article by: ALLIE SHAH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 17, 2013 - 2:04 PM

 

Q: Who should get tested?

A: Women with certain risk factors should strongly consider genetic testing, Hartmann said. For example, those with relatives who had breast or ovarian cancer, especially if they were diagnosed before they were 50. In addition, people of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage are at a higher risk of inheriting a genetic mutation.

 

Q: How effective are double mastectomies at preventing cancer?

A: “If you look at most women who have a BRCA mutation, their lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is about 70 to 80 percent,” said Tuttle. “The studies seem to indicate that having a bilateral mastectomy would reduce the risk by 90 to 95 percent.”

He added: “There are a lot of women who are interested in having mastectomies to reduce their risk because they think they’re at high risk. It’s only a small subset of women who actually are.”

 

Allie Shah • 612-673-4488

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