Oscar-winning superstar Angelina Jolie revealed Tuesday that she had a double mastectomy a few weeks ago. Jolie said that after genetic testing she learned she carries the "faulty" BRCA1 gene and had an 87 percent chance of getting the disease herself.
Michaela Klose, a mother of three, had a preventive mastectomy three years ago. She joined News 8 at Five to talk about her decision to have the procedure, whether her insurance covered it, and offered advice to women who believe a mastectomy would make them less feminine.
Here are some things you need to know if you're asking questions about whether genetic testing is right for you:
- BRCA gene screening analysis costs about $3,000. Many insurance companies will cover the procedure, but only for patients who exhibit certain risk factors.
- If your insurance covers the test and a preventive mastectomy, by law, it must also cover the costs for reconstruction.
- If you do test positive for a BRCA gene, you don't necessarily need surgery. Many women opt for aggressive monitoring — including mammograms and blood tests — to help watch for early signs of cancer.