American actress Angelina Jolie, 39, underwent surgery to remove both ovaries and fallopian tubes in March of this year to prevent ovarian cancer. In May 2013, he underwent surgery to remove and reconstruct both healthy breasts to prevent breast cancer, which became a hot topic.

“Now my kids don’t have to say,’Mom died of ovarian cancer.'” Angelina Jolie said in a memorandum published in the New York Times on March 24th.

What is Hereditary Breast Cancer / Ovarian Cancer Syndrome?

Jolly was born with an abnormality in the tumor suppressor gene “BRCA1” that prevents cells from becoming cancerous, and was diagnosed with 87% chance of breast cancer and 50% chance of ovarian cancer if nothing was done. .. Jolly’s mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 49, developed breast cancer, and died at the age of 56. Her maternal grandmother died of ovarian cancer and her aunt died of breast cancer, and there were signs of early cancer in her ovaries, so she decided to take preventive surgery on her ovaries and fallopian tubes. The existence of three real children and three adopted children also seems to have greatly influenced the decision.

Reuters / AFLO = Photo

Most cancers develop over a long period of time due to a combination of factors such as lifestyle and environment. However, it has been found that 5-10% are hereditary cancers. One of them is hereditary breast cancer / ovarian cancer syndrome (HBOC) like Jolly, who has a mutation in BRCA1 like Jolly, and may also have a mutation in a tumor suppressor gene called BRCA2. In Japan as well, it is estimated that about 7,000 HBOC people are diagnosed with breast cancer and ovarian cancer each year.

According to overseas data, the probability that HBOC people will get breast cancer is 41-90%, and that of ovarian cancer is 8-62%. Japanese women have an 8% chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime and 1% of ovarian cancer, so the risk is 5 to 60 times higher. It has been found that people who have breast cancer once have a higher chance of developing cancer in the opposite breast or ovary than people with HBOC. The probability that this gene mutation will be passed from parent to child is 50% regardless of gender. When a man inherits this mutation, there is a 10% chance that he will have prostate cancer or male breast cancer.

Two years before Jolly had a healthy breast removed, he interviewed HBOC, but several Japanese experts said, “I should consider preventive removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes.” did. Breast cancer can be detected early by combining mammography (breast X-ray examination) and palpation, and in the case of young people, MRI examination, whereas the ovary is a small organ in the back of the pelvis. This is because it is difficult to detect early because it easily spreads to the peritoneum, and the mortality rate is high. In fact, even if the ovaries are examined every three months to six months, they have already progressed when they are found. Jolly also said that the tumor marker “CA-125” was normal this time, but doctors have explained that the tumor marker misses 50-75% of early-stage cancers.


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