The Jolie effect: Preventing ovarian cancer

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(PIX11)– Actress Angelina Jolie opened up about having the BRCA-1 gene removed to help prevent her from getting ovarian cancer like her aunt, mother and grandmother.

Dr. David Fishman, a gynecologic oncologist from Mount Sinai Hospital talks about the advantages of removing the gene.

Fact about the BRCA-1 Gene (Mount Sinai Hospital):

  • Ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in American women. Approximately 22,000 women are diagnosed annually and 14,000 die from the disease.
  • Ovarian cancer incidence for African American women is 74 percent of the rate for white women according to the American cancer society. Death rates from ovarian cancer are 80 percent of the rate for white women.
  • Approximately 75 percent of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed with late stage disease and only 15-40 percent of diagnosed patients survive five years after initial aggressive cytoreductive surgery and years of multiagent chemotherapy.
  • Almost 90 percent of women diagnosed with the disease confined to the ovary (stage I), have an overall five-year survival. They also require less surgical intervention, may not require chemotherapy and have a significantly improved quality of life.

More information about the BRCA-1 gene, visit the National Cancer Institute.