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HudsonAlpha Genetic Counselor Gives Information on BRCA Mutation and Testing

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Actress Angelina Jolie underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carries a mutation of the BRCA1 gene, which sharply increases her risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

She learned this after a test showed that she was 87 percent likely to develop breast cancer.  This has left many women wondering if they should be tested for this genetic abnormality as well.

WHNT News 19 went to HudsonAlpha to find out.

A genetic counselor says five to ten percent of all breast cancers are hereditary.

“These hereditary cancer syndromes are quite rare. BRCA 1 and 2, those two genes, having genetic changes or mutations in those genes only affects one out of every 600 people or so, said Kelly East, HudsonAlpha Genetic Counselor. " So, it`s not something, right now at least, in medical practice we`re recommending that all people go get tested for.”

For more information about genetic counseling or testing, talk to your family doctor.