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Some would call it a brave move. Others might see it as fear based.

Angelina Jolie revealed that she underwent a double mastectomy to prevent getting breast or ovarian cancer. According to the New York Times, Jolie tested genetically positive for the BRCA1 gene that greatly increases a women’s risk for ovarian and breast cancers. Her mother died at age 56, from ovarian cancer. Jolie wants to be around to raise her children and says she is sharing her story with the public in the hopes of bringing awareness to one way of preventing these types of cancers.

The National Cancer Institute tells us that the gene BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genetic mutations associated with the risk of ovarian and breast cancers. The genes can be determined by a blood test at a hospital or doctor’s office and sent to a lab that specializes in these screenings. The cost of the test ranges from hundreds to several thousand dollars, and may or may not be covered by insurance. For a celebrity, that is not a problem, but for the average woman, cost can be prohibited.

Dr. Michael Sabel, associate professor of surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School says, “The dilemma we’re facing is more and more women are choosing to remove both breasts. We’re greatly overestimating the risk of women with breast cancer developing another breast cancer.”

Do you agree?

Would you get tested for the genes if cost wasn’t an issue?

If you tested positive, would you have a double mastectomy like Jolie did?

Let’s get the conversation started.

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