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Australians Quick To Follow Angelina Jolie

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The Hollywood star went public with news of her preventative hysterectomy in 2013 after discovering she had the BRCA1 gene.

That left her with a 87 per cent chance of developing breast cancer and a 65 per cent chance of ovarian cancer.

New statistics, released in conjunction with Cancer Australia’s annual Pink Ribbon Breakfast in Sydney, show Australian women have been quick to follow suit.

Cancer Australia chief Helen Zorbas said the increased rate of mastectomies in that year reflected an increased awareness.

“Hopefully those mastectomies were performed on women who were at high risk after appropriate counselling and information,” she said.

She was quick to stress that it’s important for women to realise that just five per cent of breast cancers are attributable to genetic problems.

The new report also says nearly 800 young Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the year is out, and 65 will die from it.

That is an average of two diagnoses a day and one death a week for women aged between 20 and 39.

The good news, however, is that the numbers also show the rate of breast cancer isn’t rising and has remained steady for the last 30 years.

Since 1997 better screening and improved treatments have seen the breast cancer mortality rate for young women steadily decrease from five deaths per 100,000 to two deaths.

In 2012, breast cancer was the fourth leading cause of death for women aged 20-39.

Young women tend to have a higher proportion of breast cancers that are very large, that are of a high grade and are lymph node positive, say experts.

For more information on testing and statistics visit the official National Breast Cancer Foundation website.

Written by TheCarousel

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