Kelly Osbourne: “I have the cancer gene” like Angelina Jolie

Everyone is talking about Angelina Jolie‘s op-ed piece in the New York Times yesterday.

Many are commending her for openly discussing her choice to have her ovaries and tubes removed to decrease her risk of ovarian cancer.  Jolie is considered at high risk because she tested positive for the BRAC1 gene and had a strong family history of cancer. Jolie did a similar thing when she underwent a double mastectomy in 2013 for the similar reasons.

On The Talk yesterday, panel member and former Fashion Police co-host Kelly Osbourne lent her support to Jolie, adding that she herself has tested positive for the BRAC1 gene.

She said that her mother Sharon Osbourne had all her children tested after she was diagnosed as having the BRAC1 gene. She had already survived colon cancer, and underwent a preventive double mastectomy after receiving the news that she was BRAC1 positive.

Here’s the clip from The Talk:

Angelina Jolie is another example was what Celebrity Diagnosis has termed the “Goody-Gaga Effect.”  The Goody-Gaga Effect, refers to the phenomenon of sharply increased volume of search traffic, for specific diseases or medical conditions, that correlates with a celebrity association with that disease or condition.

After her bilateral mastectomy in 2013, there was a dramatic increase in requests for BRAC gene testing. Jolie is hoping that this time will encourage patients  to become better educated about what their options are and will increase the dialog between physicians and patients about those options. As she said at the end of the article:

“It is not easy to make these decisions. But it is possible to take control and tackle head-on any health issue. You can seek advice, learn about the options and make choices that are right for you. Knowledge is power.”

We whole-heartedly agree!

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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