Following Angelina Jolie's announcement that she had a double mastectomy to reduce her cancer risk, the Susan G. Komen of Oregon and SW Washington released the following statement:
Angelina Jolie has displayed tremendous courage in announcing her decision. Our hope is that her courage will inspire other women to discuss their potential breast cancer risk with their healthcare providers.
Komen has funded about $34 million across 100 grants researching BRCA1/BRCA2, with several aims: to understand the mutations and to find less invasive ways of dealing with the mutation (through less invasive treatments).
A woman’s decision to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy is an intensely personal one. We strongly suggest that women have this discussion with their healthcare provider, and with as much information as they can (much of it available on komen.org).
We believe that women should have access to genetic counseling and testing if they need it. (See insurance information below)
We also worry about those women who do NOT have access to the medical care system.
INSURANCE INFORMATION: Women should check with their health insurance provider to find out whether the costs of genetic counseling and testing are covered in your plan. Many plans cover these costs when your health care provider recommends this testing. If you have a new insurance plan that began on or after August 1, 2012, the Affordable Care Act (health care reform) requires coverage of these costs (when recommended by a provider). If you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, the Affordable Care Act also requires coverage of counseling to help you decide if taking medications to lower the risk of breast cancer is right for you.
WHO SHOULD BE TESTED?
Although it is widely advertised, genetic testing is only recommended for certain people, including those with these Risk Factors:
• A personal history of breast cancer at age 50 or younger
• A personal history of triple negative breast cancer (breast cancer that is estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative and HER2/neu receptor-negative)
• A personal or family history of male breast cancer
• A personal or family history of bilateral breast cancer (cancer in both breasts)
• A personal history of ovarian cancer
• A parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or first cousin diagnosed with breast cancer at age 45 or younger
• A parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or first cousin diagnosed with ovarian cancer
• A family history of both breast and ovarian cancers on the same side of the family (either mother's or father's side of the family)
• Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and a family history of breast or ovarian cancer