Henry Ford researcher says inherited BRCA mutations are rare - New York News

Henry Ford researcher says inherited BRCA mutations are rare

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Henry Ford researcher Dr. Maria Worsham said inherited BRCA mutations are rare. Henry Ford researcher Dr. Maria Worsham said inherited BRCA mutations are rare.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

A preventative double mastectomy may seem like a radical choice, but experts say sometimes women feel it is the only choice.

We now know that Angelina Jolie is among a small group of women that carry breast cancer gene mutations.

"It's rare to have an inherited mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. If you do inherit it, then your risk for breast cancer... could be as high as 87 percent," said Henry Ford Hospital breast cancer researcher Dr. Maria Worsham.

She made it clear most women do not inherit a breast cancer risk, but knowing your family history will tell you if you need to think about genetic testing. That is a blood test to see if you carry the gene.

"Say you have a sister or a mother who had breast cancer, or there was a relative in your family who had breast cancer who was young, below the age of 50, these are little sign posts that tell you perhaps something is going on," Worsham said.

Funded in part by Komen Detroit Race for the Cure, Dr. Worsham spends long hours in the lab every day searching for new answers and treatments when it comes to breast cancer so that maybe one day women won't have to resort to surgery to save their lives.

"A double mastectomy reduces the risk for her and brings it down to just five percent. It doesn't eliminate the risk, but it reduces it to five percent," Worsham said.

Jolie's news comes at a pivotal time for breast cancer awareness in Detroit. This weekend marks the 22nd Annual Race for the Cure. The inspirational event is Saturday at Comerica Park. If you haven't registered yet, you can do so on Saturday.

At 8 a.m. , survivors and loved ones will be remembered during the opening ceremony. That is followed by the race at 9 a.m. Closing ceremonies are at 10:30 a.m.

Jay Towers and I will be there bringing you live coverage all morning on Saturday.

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