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The recent wave of publicity about Angelina Jolie's decision to have a preemptive double mastectomy after discovering she had a mutated BRCA1 gene that is know to raise the risks of breast and ovarian cancers, has prompted some debate on whether she made the right decision.
Although most cancers are thought of as sporadic events, approximately 10 percent are hereditary. These hereditary cancers are due to specific inherited factors or genes that cause an increase in susceptibility to develop certain cancers.
Families can pass on a gene from generation to generation, which increases the risk of these cancers to develop at a young age. In Angelina Jolie's case her mother died at a young age of ovarian cancer. St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute has an active genetic testing and genetic counseling program. In this video, Heather Hussey, a genetic counselor with St. Luke's MSTI, talks about Angelina Jolie's decision and the benefits and challenges of deciding to undergo genetic testing.
Ken Dey served as Public Relations Coordinator at St. Luke's from 2008-2014.
How do you define health? Physical? Mental? Social? Health goes beyond medical care. It's how we take care of ourselves, how we interact with our communities, how we take care of each other.
Let St. Luke's support your health, however you define it.