Jolie's announcement triggers discussion on preventative mastectomies

7:13 PM, May 14, 2013   |    comments
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Actress and activist Angelina Jolie made the surprising announcement Tuesday that she elected to have a double mastectomy after learning she carries a gene linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. She made the decision after learning she has the BRCA1 gene, which gives her an 87 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer, and a 50 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died in 2007 at age 56 of ovarian cancer. So Jolie decided to have both of her breasts removed to diminish that risk in order to be around for her family as long as possible.

Jolie says she decided to go public with her decision to encourage other women to get tested and learn their risks.

For more on the topic, Knoxville breast surgeon Dr. Caren Gallaher, and Brittany Hodge, a woman who elected to have a preventative double mastectomy two years ago, joined us in the 10News studio for a discussion.

You can watch that entire conversation in the video above.

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