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Surgery can dramatically reduce genetic cancer risk

Published on May 14, 2013 9:29 PM

PARIS (AFP) - Women whose genes put them at a high risk of contracting breast cancer can dramatically reduce the danger by having a double mastectomy - but not eliminate it altogether, experts say.

The issue has been thrown into the spotlight with Hollywood star Angelina Jolie's announcement that she had her breasts surgically removed after tests revealed she carried a genetic mutation that can lead to cancer.

Rocker Ozzy Osbourne's wife, Sharon, did the same last year.

About 0.2 per cent of women carry a harmful mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene that boosts their lifetime risk of contracting breast cancer to as much as 80 per cent compared to about 10 per cent for women without the gene.

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