Angelina Jolie recently announced she underwent a bilateral mastectomy. She carries the BRCA 1 gene, which increases her risk for both breast and ovarian cancer.  Read her article in The New York Times.

According to the American Cancer Society, 12% (1 in 8) of women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2013:
• About 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
• About 64,640 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
• About 39,620 women will die from breast cancer
However, death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.
The American Cancer Society also reports that about 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, resulting directly from gene defects (called mutations) inherited from a parent.  
BRCA1 and BRCA2: The most common cause of hereditary breast cancer is an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. In normal cells, these genes help prevent cancer by making proteins that keep the cells from growing abnormally. If you have inherited a mutated copy of either gene from a parent, you have a high risk of developing breast cancer during your lifetime. The risk may be as high as 80% for members of some families with BRCA mutations. These cancers tend to occur in younger women and more often affect both breasts than cancers in women who are not born with one of these gene mutations. Women with these inherited mutations also have an increased risk for developing other cancers, particularly ovarian cancer.
In the United States BRCA mutations are more common in Jewish women of Ashkenazi (Eastern Europe) origin than in other racial and ethnic groups, but they can occur in any racial or ethnic group.
Fortunately, because of the developments in the detection of these genes, we can offer patients reconstruction as part of a prophylactic option. We have had many patients select breast reconstruction as a preventative measure at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery. If you’re interested in visiting with us about reconstruction because you carry the BRCA 1 gene, please call our office at 303-706-1100