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  • She's a glamorous, world-famous Hollywood movie star.

  • Angelina Jolie, academy award winner, mother of six, partner to Brad Pitt, United Nations global ambassador,

  • and now, a recipient of a double mastectomy, though she doesn't even have cancer.

  • Jolie says she chose to have her breasts removed to reduce her chance of getting the disease that cost her mother her life.

  • Now her decision and her choice to make it public has put the spotlight on preventive surgery,

  • and I'm joined now by VOA health reporter Linord Moudou to talk more about it.

  • Linord, welcome back to the program.

  • - Hello, Alex, it's so good to be back. - It's great to have you.

  • Now, Angelina is, of course, not just a star in the United States,

  • she has a following all around the world, including in Africa, which is your area of focus.

  • So, what does an announcement like this mean to African women?

  • To women in general around the world, I think it's something very, very important, because, her being such a famous person, it brings attention to breast cancer.

  • But in Africa, in particular, because breast cancer is very devastating on the continent.

  • Although it's not the same type of breast cancerit's triple-negative breast cancerbut still, the whole issue of breast cancer is on the map.

  • A woman will think about it, a woman will be aware, and they will start talking about it, and talk to their doctors about it.

  • So I think that her coming out with that issue is a very, very important step.

  • And let's talk about, specifically, her discovery of this.

  • She had genetic testing to check to see if she had mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, right?

  • So, whatTell us about that, how that testing works and what exactly she discovered that caused her to take this step.

  • Well, according to reports, she went to her doctors and she took a blood test, and they run through everything and they discovered that she had the mutation of the gene.

  • And these genes, BRC1—as you said, BRCA1—BRCA1 and BRCA2 are very critical in terms of developing breast cancer.

  • Women who have this mutation have an 87% chance of developing breast cancer, and 50% chance of developing ovarian cancer.

  • So when she saw that, I suppose and I guess according to reports, her doctors recommended that that was an option for her to prevent the condition from developing in the future.

  • But for other women who might get the testing and see that they also have this mutation, is this the answer for everyone?

  • It is not the answer for everyone.

  • Again, it depends on age of woman, and what the doctor will tell her, but, no it's not—a woman who has been diagnosed with this doesn't have to run and get a double mastectomy.

  • It depends, according to experts, it depends on each case, and...

  • So each woman will have to see her family history, her diet, her age, and so many other factors that come into play before deciding the right type of preventive treatment.

  • - All right, Linord, thank you so much, great to have you back again. - Thank you.

  • - Good to see you. - Good to be here.

  • Linord Moudou is VOA's TV to Africa health reporter and host of the Health Chat radio program. Again, thanks for being on.

She's a glamorous, world-famous Hollywood movie star.

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