After actress Angelina Jolie decided to undergo a double mastectomy as a preventative to breast cancer the University of Nebraska Medical Center is warning women not to make a hasty decision.
Dr. Edibaldo Silva is a professor of surgical oncology at UNMC and says if there is a diagnosis the first step should be to sit down with a team of health care providers to determine the condition and explore options. He says taking that time will not hurt their long term prognosis. He says many women can start with chemotherapy while taking time to gather information and they are actively fighting the cancer at the same time they are gathering information. In some cases the cancer may be gone by the end of the chemo treatment.
He says if women worry they may carry the BRCA gene mutation that causes breast and incurable ovarian cancer they should make an appointment with a genetic counselor first. He says those who do have the mutated gene but do not have cancer eventually will need a double mastectomy and removal of their ovaries. However, only 5% of all women have that gene.