Jolie's Disclosure of Preventive Mastectomy Highlights Dilemma

May 15, 2013

Actress Angelina Jolie's announcement that she underwent a prophylactic mastectomy to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer after learning that she carries a BRCA gene mutation has focused attention on the decisions faced by women who have a large genetic risk of developing cancer and the science aimed at finding new solutions to prevent cancer among this group of patients, whose lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is as high as 85 percent. Susan Domchek, MD, executive director of the Basser Research Center for BRCA, was quoted extensively in news coverage of Jolie's announcement, including in front page stories in the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Boston Globe. "Women need better choices," she told the Boston Globe. "We shouldn't think that these surgical preventions have fixed the problem. They're just a temporary solution." Researchers in the Basser Center are focused, for instance, on developing medications and vaccines that target a mutation in the BRCA gene. She was also quoted in Bloomberg News and articles and in various other outlets, along with genetic counselors Jill Stopfer, MS, CGC, and Jacquelyn Powers, MS, and an Abramson Cancer Center patient who shared her story about undergoing preventive surgeries to reduce her cancer risk. Visit Basser Research Center to learn more.

New York Times article
Bloomberg News article
Boston Globe article
CNN article
Philadelphia Inquirer article
6ABC article
KYW NewsRadio article
Marie Claire article
MedCity News article
Delaware News Journal article