Cleveland doctor says Angelina Jolie's mastectomy announcement opens door for more women
Deb Lee, newsnet5.com
5:32 PM, May 14, 2013
CLEVELAND - A Cleveland doctor said it's important that Angelina Jolie spoke out about her preventative double mastectomy.
"I think that opens the door for other women to think about it," said Dr. Christine Alexander, Director of Maternal and Newborn Health at MetroHealth Medical Center.
Jolie found out that she carried a gene that gave her an 87 percent risk for breast cancer. The double mastectomy lowered her risk to less than 5 percent.
Dr. Alexander said a blood test can determine whether a woman with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer has the gene. However, she said testing positive doesn't mean the woman will definitely get the disease.
"Gene testing is not for everyone," she said. "It's not an end all be all and it's not even an exact answer as much as we would like it to be."
It's also expensive. According to Myriad Genetics, the test alone can cost several thousand dollars.
The good news, according to the Associated Press, is that only a small percentage of women inherit the gene.