Brad Pitt: Angelina is 'heroic'

Brad Pitt described his partner Angelina Jolie as "heroic" after the actress revealed she underwent a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer.

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What is the BRCA1 breast cancer gene fault?

Angelina Jolie has had a double mastectomy after doctors calculated she had an 87% chance of developing breast cancer as a carrier of the BRCA1 gene.

  • Around 1 in 20 breast cancers is partly caused by an inherited gene fault and the BRCA1 gene is just one of these.
  • The BRCA1 gene helps to repair damage to DNA. When a mutated gene is passed from parent to child, all the breasts' cells carry this mutation.
  • Women with a faulty gene have a 50 to 80% chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • BRCA2 and TP53 genes are also associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Genetic tests are available to women with a high risk of having changes in these genes.

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