The Angelina Jolie effect – how the actress boosted interest in genetic testing and how can it benefit you

When Hollywood royalty, Angelina Jolie, revealed that she had undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing breast cancer, the rates of genetic testing among women spiralled.

Currently in the UK, women tend to be offered testing for the corrupted gene if cancer runs in the family.

However, there are added benefits of having the test even if you don’t think there is a hereditary link.

When women are diagnosed they can be monitored more closely for cancer and many, like Angelina Jolie, have preventative surgery.

What is the Faulty Gene?

Mutations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 can impair the body’s ability to repair damage to DNA in its cells.

This can greatly increase the risk of developing cancers:

  • On average, women have a 2% chance of getting ovarian cancer in their lifetime
  • But in those with BRCA mutations, the chances can increase to between 10% and 60%
  • Women have a 12.5% risk of getting breast cancer in their lifetime
  • This goes up to between 45% and 90% with BRCA mutations

Is BRCA 1 and 2 test right for you?

Unfortunately, the chance of getting cancer in your lifetime is now estimated to be one in every two people. However, some common cancers – breast, melanoma, pancreatic, prostate and ovarian – are known to occur more frequently in families, passing from one generation to the next.

At Everything Genetic we offer at test for BRCA 1 and 2 which can be purchased straight from our website for £295, which includes mandatory pre-and post-test counselling by Consultant Genetic Specialists (this cost may be covered by your medical insurance), or you can access through your private healthcare provider.

For more information or to purchase a test please click here.