Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie

Sunday May 26, 2013

Reporter: Rahni Sadler

Producer: Nick Farrow

Angelina Jolie’s recent health revelation has raised awareness of a rare gene mutation that dramatically increases a woman’s chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

With breast and ovarian cancer prevalent in her family due to the ‘faulty’ BRCA1 gene, Jolie made the agonizing decision to undergo a double mastectomy, removing both of her healthy breasts to reduce her likelihood of developing the disease from an estimated 87 percent to roughly 5 percent.

In this special Sunday Night report, Rahni Sadler meets women – and men – who carry the gene. Everyday Australians who carry the same genetic mutation as the Hollywood A-lister, but whose stories have taken very different turns. There’s the woman whose daughter carries the BRCA1 gene and who says Jolie is an angel for sharing her story and showing women everywhere they can take preventative action against the deadly disease.

But Sadler also discovers living proof that Jolie’s drastic measures are not a total safeguard against the disease, meeting one Aussie mum who underwent a double mastectomy – then developed breast cancer anyway.

With women dashing to get tested, many doctors are warning that a mastectomy is not always the most appropriate course of action to combat breast cancer. This is a story every woman confused by the latest reports needs to see.


Visit Cancer Council Australia for information on breast cancer risk, causes, screening and detection.

The Pink Hope Community. Pink Hope is Australia’s only community for women and their families at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Pink Hope is a registered charity, established and founded by Krystal Barter in 2009 whilst recovering from her preventative double mastectomy. Having experienced the isolation and lack of information for high risk families Krystal created Pink Hope for women and families like her own, with the goal of providing unique and tangible resources for high risk women.

Pink Hope download kits. The resources in this section have been developed by Pink Hope to inform and support you as you navigate your high risk journey. The Kits and Tips can be downloaded, printed and taken with you to your health care professional appointments and shared with your family and friends.

CLICK HERE to download Pink Hope's letter to Angelina Jolie. CLICK HERE for a Pink Hope fact sheet.

CANCER COUNCIL FACT SHEETS (Click each link to download PDF):

Early detection of breast cancer

After a diagnosis of breast cancer

Early detection of ovarian cancer

Get checked - women


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