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Jolie Mastectomy Fuels Debate on Breast Cancer Treatment

Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy is fueling debate among the thousands of women at risk of developing breast cancer who want to know how, if and when to have their breasts removed.

As many as 1 in 500 people in the U.S., including Jolie, carry a genetic mutation that gives them about a 60 percent chance of developing breast cancer, doctors said. Women in that group face the agonizing choice between surgery to remove their breast tissue or close monitoring for early signs of cancer along with drug treatments that can prevent tumor growth.