SOURCE: PA Breast Cancer Coalition Press Room

PA Breast Cancer Coalition Press Room

May 14, 2013 15:35 ET

PA Breast Cancer Coalition Applauds Brave Announcement by Angelina Jolie Following Double Mastectomy

Oscar-Winning Actress Discloses Preventative Surgery Decision After Discovering BRCA1 Genetic Testing Results

EPHRATA, PA--(Marketwired - May 14, 2013) -  Actress Angelina Jolie has announced in a New York Times editorial printed today that she recently underwent a preventative double mastectomy. According to her account, Jolie chose to have the surgery after learning she inherited the BRCA1 gene which increases her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Jolie's mother passed away from ovarian cancer at the age of 56.

"My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman," writes the 37-year-old actress. "Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could."

PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) President and Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy commends Jolie for coming forward with her story. "We salute her for speaking out and urging women who have a family history; a mother, or first-degree relative; who died of breast cancer to have the genetic testing so that they can know whether or not they fall into that small, but very important percentage of women who are at an extraordinarily increased risk of having breast or ovarian cancer," says Halpin-Murphy. "Less than 5 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have the BRCA1 gene. Jolie's preventative mastectomy is specific to the unfortunate genetic inheritance of that breast cancer gene."

Jolie says she hopes other women will benefit from her experience. She intends to share her entire journey on the Pink Lotus Breast Center Web site in an effort to document the entire process for women going through a similar regimen.

Approximately 95 percent of all women in the U.S. diagnosed with breast cancer do not carry the BRCA1 gene.

To read Angelina Jolie's complete op-ed article in the New York Times, follow this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/opinion/my-medical-choice.html?_r=1&.

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition, celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2013, represents supports and serves breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programming, legislative advocacy and breast cancer research grants. The PBCC is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure now…so our daughters won't have to. For more information, please call 800-377-8828 or visit www.PABreastCancer.org.

The following files are available for download:

Contact Information