In an op-ed piece for our partner The New York Times, actress and director Angelina Jolie announced that she recently underwent a double mastectomy after learning that she is a carrier of the BRCA1 breast cancer gene and was at high risk of developing the disease.
After battling breast cancer for nearly a decade, Jolie's mother died of the disease at the age of 56. So in an effort to be proactive and minimize her risks, Jolie began going through the treatments and surgery in February of this year.
Gisella Alvarez, a charge nurse at Mercy Medical Center, shares her experience undergoing a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Nita A. Farahany is a bioethicist at Duke University and professor of genome sciences and policy. She sits on the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Dr. Kevin Hughes is a surgical oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. They discuss the ethics of knowing your genetic information and the decision making process that leads to this life transforming operation.