1. ITV Report

Woman with "Jolie" gene opts for surgery

A 27-year-old woman from Good Easter in Essex has taken the brave decision to have a preventative double mastectomy after discovering she has an 86% chance of getting breast cancer.

Katie Mumford works in marketing in Bishop’s Stortford and decided to get tested for the BRCA2 gene also known as the "Jolie" gene after her mother Susan Mumford and half-sister Melissa Hume were diagnosed with the disease. Melissa was only 30 when she was diagnosed but both women are now in remission.

Angelina Jolie Credit: Press Association

THE BRCA2 gene mutation is often called the “Jolie gene” after actress Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy two years ago after finding out she had the gene. The gene mutations create a greater risk of developing cancer because the cells’ ability to repair DNA damage, which can cause a cell to become cancerous, may be impaired.

Katie discovered she had the rare gene, BRCA2, last July and has written a blog about her journey.

“My Mum was first diagnosed with breast cancer about 4 years ago now and although she was in her 50s it wasn’t flagged up as genetic and then my half-sister was diagnosed at the age of 30 which is obviously really young to have breast cancer so she went through genetic testing and found out that her breast cancer was genetic and then my mum had the test and found out that hers was also genetic so the doctors urged me and my younger sister to get tested last year and last July we found out we had the gene. It was quite strange because it was quite scary being told you had that risk but at the same time it’s not a diagnosis.

Obviously a lot of decisions to be made around that but at the same time I didn’t feel too scared because I’m not actually ill, it hasn’t changed my health at the moment.”

– Katie Mumford
Katie Mumford who has opted for preventative surgery to try and prevent breast cancer Credit: ITV News Anglia

The operation, where surgeons will also reconstruct Katie's breasts, will reduce her risk of developing breast cancer to 4% - for most women it's about 12%

Katie worries about how the operation will affect her body image and confidence but says the support of her friends and family has been invaluable, especially boyfriend Callum who she started dating 5 months ago.

He's been absolutely fantastic. He's a personal trainer so he trains me a lot which helps me keep my mind clear. He's been good coming to appointments and reassuring me that whatever I look like it won't make a difference to him."

– Katie Mumford

Katie’s surgery is likely to be scheduled for September or October. She hopes her blog will help other women going through a similar situation.

“If one person reads it and thinks my family history is similar to that and thinks ill go get checked to see if I have that mutation. I hope I can help even one person. That would be great.”

– Katie Mumford

You can read Katie's blog here Click below to watch Katie's interview with Serena Sandhu