Actress Angelina Jolie’s recent public comments about her decision to undergo a prophylactic (preventive) double mastectomy resulted in a 1033% increase in enquiries to Cancer Council Victoria’s Helpline. Similar increases were experienced by a range of support services across Australia.
In response to increased community concern, the Cancer Council will host a free national webinar ‘Breast cancer in the family- What does that mean for me?’ on Tuesday 25th June 7.30pm – 8.30pm.
Although breast cancer is common in Australia, only 5-10% of cases are linked to known genetic factors.
However Mary-Anne Young, Senior Genetic Counsellor at Peter MacCallum Familial Cancer Centre, said this sort of statistic didn’t relay the anxieties of many women, especially if they have a history of breast cancer in their family.
Ms Young, who is the webinar guest speaker, said: “Providing women with the opportunity to ask questions, and access to information about what they can do to reduce their cancer risk is invaluable. We hope this webinar will reduce unnecessary anxiety we have seen in patients since Ms Jolie’s announcement, and provide women with the resources of where to go next if genetic testing is an option. The fact they can do this from the comfort of their own home is a bonus.”