Angelina Jolie, the Hollywood actress on 14 May 2013 revealed that she has undergone double mastectomy for reduction of her chances of getting Breast Cancer. She took the decision of undergoing mastectomy as she was tested positive for a genetic mutation known as BRCA1. BRCA1 presents a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer in a female.
Angelina Jolie’s step of revealing the secret of mastectomy was largely applauded as this will influence many women across the world with strong family histories of breast cancer to get genetic tests done.
Earlier before Angelina Jolie, in the history of breast cancer the defining moment occurred in 1974, when Betty Ford, the first lady of United States wife of Gerald Ford reveled about her mastectomy to spread awareness about breast cancer.
About BRCA1 and BRCA 2
BRCA1 is a human caretaker gene that produces a protein called breast cancer susceptibility gene 1, responsible for repairing DNA. It has been linked with the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in a female and prostate cancer in men. It also increases chances of cervical, uterine, pancreatic and colon cancer.
BRCA 2 is a protein found inside cells and is called breast cancer susceptibility gene 2. BRCA 2 also belongs to the tumor suppressor gene family and the protein encoded by these genes are involved in repair of the chromosomal damage and plays an important role in free repair of DNA double strand breaks.