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ESSENCE Poll: Are You Staying on Top of Your Breast Health?

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Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie made a shocking announcement yesterday when she revealed having undergone a preventative double mastectomy after learning she had an "87 percent rick of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer." In the op-ed piece titled "My Medical Choice," the 37-year-old actress say she decided to be "proactive and minimize the risk" as much as she could. Jolie's mother died of breast cancer in 2007 at age 58.

A mastectomy removes all or part of the breast. Jolie has had all her breast tissue removed and now wears implants.

"My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent," she wrote, adding that her decision won't necessarily be ideal for every woman but early detection is key. The mother of six reportedly underwent genetic testing for BRCA1 to determine susceptibility to breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among African-American women. However, according to a study conducted by the Moffitt Cancer Center, African-American women are less likely to get genetic testing for gene abnormalitie. "Black women continue to be underrepresented in studies of the genetic causes of breast cancer," said one of the study's co-authors, Dr. Susan T. Vadaparampil, Ph.D.

So tell us how you stay on top of your breast health. Share your thoughts and comments with us below.

QUESTION:
Are you staying on top of your breast health?
I always get my annual mammogram
50%
I'm not at an age for a mammogram yet but I do give myself breast exams
27%
I should be more vigilant, but I'm not.
23%
Total votes: 115

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