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    Angelina Jolie undergoes double mastectomy

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    Actress Angelina Jolie has undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer. Jolie's mother died of breast cancer, making her twice as likely as the general population to contract the disease.
    More women die of breast cancer than from any other form of cancer. The disease can be caused by many factors, one of which is carrying defective genes. Tests can determine if a woman has the defective BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53 or PTEN genes. However, there are other defective genes related to breast cancer which cannot be detected through testing.
    Localised tumours can be removed by lumpectomy, which is the removal of the malignant tissue and a small amount of healthy tissue. Lumpectomies are less likely to affect the appearance of the breast. If cancer spreads and a lumpectomy is not a viable solution, a single mastectomy may be necessary, in which the entire breast is removed. A double mastectomy may be performed if cancer is present in both breasts, or in order to prevent cancer in at-risk patients before it presents.

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