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b2ap3_thumbnail_angelina-jolie-breast-cancer-surgeryAs I am sure you are aware, Angelina Jolie recently had bilateral mastectomies. This was undoubtedly a difficult decision but it was no doubt based on the fact that she was among the small subset of patients with the BRCA1 gene. This puts her at increased risk for developing breast cancer, bilaterally, as high as 86%. Since her decision, more and more women are opting for mastectomy.

Although it may be appropriate in some women, please be aware that there is no survival advantage with mastectomy versus lumpectomy if you do not have this gene. Although emotionally charged, let’s avoid emotional decisions and overly aggressive treatment approaches if not necessary.

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