A Jewish breast cancer campaigner has praised Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie for revealing that she has had a double mastectomy, saying it will put awareness of the disease “through the roof”.
Ms Jolie disclosed in an interview this week that she had had preventive surgery because she carried a gene that put her in the high-risk category for the disease.
Emma Parlons had a similar operation after being told by doctors that she carried the aggressive BRCA gene and had an 85 per cent of suffering from breast cancer.
“I felt like I had a time-bomb strapped to me,” she said. “It’s brilliant what Angelina Jolie is doing. It’s so sensible. If she is so beautiful and is willing to have the operation, then it makes it OK for other women to do it.”
According to Jewish Genetics Disorder UK, one in 40 people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry carries the BRCA gene., compared to one in 500 in the general population. JGD executive director Katrina Jacobs-Sarig said: “I would very much recommend Jewish people be aware of the increased risk.”
Ms Parlons hopes to raise awareness through a celebrity event next month to unveil a specially designed bracelet, which will go on sale in Selfridges and Harrods, with proceeds going to breast cancer research.
“I’m so lucky, my story is a positive one and I want to spread this important message,” the mother of two said.