A new drug that treats breast cancer better has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.
The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has approved a new treatment for women with breast cancer caused by the BRCA mutation, which Angelina Jolie famously attributed to her preventive double mastectomy.
According to a press release by the Food and Drug Administration, the drug, Lynparza, was approved for patients whose breast cancer has metastasized and who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
The genes’ purpose is to repair damaged DNA and keep cells healthy; however, when they don’t function properly, the odds of developing breast or ovarian cancer increase significantly.
Explaining that she carried a “faulty” gene inherited from her mother, who died of cancer at age 56, Jolie wrote, “My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.
“Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.”
Describing the eight-hour procedure to remove breast tissue as a “scene out of a science-fiction film,” Jolie wrote of the aftermath, “On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”