Why Angelina Jolie Chose to Have Her Ovaries Removed

Nearly two years after announcing she had gotten a preventive double mastectomy and encouraging women to get tested for the BRCA1 breast cancer gene, actress and director Angelina Jolie says she has had her ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed to reduce her risk of ovarian cancer, the disease that killed her mother at age 56. As she did in 2013, Jolie wrote an essay for the New York Times explaining that she carries a gene that gives her “an estimated …

The Jolie Effect: A Jump in Breast Cancer Gene Testing

Just how big of an effect did movie star Angelina Jolie have on women getting tested for the BRCA breast cancer gene? A hefty 40 percent jump, according to the first study to look at the impact of Jolie’s announcement that she had undergone testing. The study by the AARP Public Policy Institute analyzed more than 6.5 million health insurance claims for women 35 and older during 2013. Researchers found that testing rates increased from about 350 a week prior …

Breast Cancer Patients Get Longer Radiation Than Necessary

Women 50 or older who have lumpectomies for small breast tumors are being given follow-up radiation treatment that lasts nearly twice as long as guidelines recommend, new research finds. Even more disturbing, the decision to stick with the longer, more expensive treatment may be because it’s more profitable for radiation-treatment centers, a study coauthor contends. Radiation, which is standard treatment after surgery for early-stage breast cancer tumors, is used to kill any cancer cells remaining after surgery. It usually involves …

Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2015

What medical innovations will have the biggest impact in 2015? At the Cleveland Clinic’s annual Medical Innovation Summit this week, the top 10 list included a high-tech stroke ambulance, painless blood testing, new cancer therapies and a vaccine that could help 50 million to 100 million people in more than 100 countries. The list of up-and-coming technologies and drug therapies was chosen by a panel of 110 physicians and scientists, and announced at the conference in Cleveland. Here are their …

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A Story of Love, Faith and Victory

Three years ago at age 55, Ricki Fairley was having a routine physical when her doctor found “a little tiny tumor under my nipple.” After further tests, she got the news: She had breast cancer. “I was shocked because I thought my breasts were, like, too small for breast cancer,” she muses three years after a mastectomy on Oct. 20, during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A busy marketing executive, her initial thought was, “Gosh this is going to get …

That Store Receipt Could Be Bad for Your Health

The next time the cashier asks, “Would you like your receipt?” the healthiest response might be, “No thanks!” That’s because a small but troubling new study finds that touching a cash register receipt can increase your body’s absorption of a controversial chemical used in the receipt’s coating. The chemical is bisphenol A, or BPA, which has been at the center of debate for decades over its use in plastic water bottles, baby bottles and the linings of cans of food. …