Breast Cancer Screenings on the Rise Thanks to Angelina Jolie

In the time since actress Angelina Jolie announced her decision to undergo a double mastectomy after discovering she carried the BRCA1 mutation, breast cancer screenings have increased. According to Liberty Voice, while the news of increased screenings was not seen as bad, it is leading to scenarios in which more women have to decide if they will have a preemptive double mastectomy to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Women who carry the BRCA1 mutation have a 50 to 75 percent chance of developing breast cancer while those with the BRCA2 mutation have between a 40 and 60 percent chance of getting the disease.

Liberty Voice reported that undergoing surgery isn't the only preventative option that women who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have. Researchers recently discovered that participating in regular exercise can lead to a decreased risk of developing breast cancer in older women. Participating in moderate regular exercise can also cut the risk of developing breast cancer in half.

According to the source, it was also discovered that the chances of reoccurrence of the disease in women who have already had breast cancer can potentially be reduced by taking aspirin or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

While the so-called Angelina Jolie effect is providing women with the information they need to make decisions regarding their health, the discovery of a new breast cancer gene mutation is causing more women to have to make these difficult decisions about surgery.

According to the Boston Globe, Women carrying the PALB2 mutation have a 35 percent chance of developing breast cancer. Women who test positive for this gene will want to take a deeper look at their family history in order to determine if the benefits of preventive measures will outweigh the risks of breast cancer.

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