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Podcast: Relative Risk - Breast Cancer and Genetics

28 April 2014
Appeared in BioNews 751

Did Angelina Jolie's famous editorial in the New York Times a year ago inspire an overemphasis on genetic risk in breast cancer? Or has it saved lives by bringing the issue out into the open?

When you're told you carry a high-breast-cancer-risk genetic mutation and that the best way to reduce that risk is to have both breasts removed, how do you decide what to do? And just how high is 'high risk', anyway?

How important are 'cancer risk genes' when BRCA mutations only account for a minority of breast cancers?

This podcast features interviews on those questions with the five people - three scientific experts, one policy expert, one former patient - who spoke at the Progress Educational Trust (PET)'s event 'Relative Risk: Breast Cancer and Genetics', part of the Wellcome Trust-supported project 'Breast Cancer: Chances, Choices and Genetics'.

Listen to the podcast using the player below, or alternatively download it by clicking here (.mp3 17.6MB).

00:00 James Brooks: Introduction
01:45 Professor Diana Eccles: The genetics of breast cancer
06:40 Professor Gareth Evans: How risk can be misconstrued
11:05 Professor Gordon Wishart: Preventative double mastectomies - the impact on surgery services
14:40 Baroness Delyth Morgan: The breast cancer charity perspective
18:00 Kerry Andrew: The patient perspective
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8 September 2014 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd 
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28 July 2014 - by James Brooks 
Will the media be forever obsessed with cancer risk? How can we separate fact from fiction in the miles of accumulated column inches amassed by cancer stories every year?...
7 July 2014 - by Dr Nicola Davis 
The Progress Educational Trust's enlightening series of events on breast cancer came to a close on Thursday with 'Breast cancer risk: Facts, fiction and the future'....
30 June 2014 - by James Brooks 
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7 April 2014 - by Matthew Thomas 
At the launch of their 'Breast Cancer: Chances, Choices and Genetics' project, a panel of experts and a lively audience grappled with the difficult topic of cancer genetics...
7 April 2014 - by Baroness Delyth Morgan 
The news of Angelina Jolie's mastectomy last year brought breast cancer genetics, risk and prevention into the international spotlight. Her decision was only possible due to the efforts of researchers, over the past twenty years and more, to identify the inherited genetic mutations...
31 March 2014 - by Dr Caroline Dalton 
As we learn more, and as technologies develop, there are continuing challenges for the NHS to meet in providing the best possible care for people at risk of familial breast cancer...
3 March 2014 - by Dr Lucy Freem 
Ovary removal to prevent cancer in those with BRCA1 mutations should be carried out by 35, according to research on cancer survival...
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