Breast Cancer: Treatment Options, Genes, and Controversy

Angelina Jolie had a preventative double mastectomyMay 16, 2013 – Segment 1

We talk about both the praise and controversy over actress Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a preventative double mastectomy after testing positive for the BRCA1 gene, which indicated she would likely develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Joining us to discuss breast cancer treatment options are: Dr. Barron H. Lerner, medical historian in the Departments of Population Health and Medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center and author of The Breast Cancer Wars; and Marsha Oakley, RN-BSN, Nursing Coordinator at the Hoffberger Breast Center at Mercy.

Then, we talk about the genes at the center of Angelina Jolie’s decision, genes that are patented and whose expensive diagnostic tests are inaccessible for many ordinary people. Joining us are: Ellen T. Matloff, CGC, Research Scientist in Genetics, and Director of Cancer Genetic Counseling at Yale; Emily Kuchinsky, Genetic Counselor at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center; and Sandra Park, Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project.