When Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in May 2013 about her double mastectomy, it launched a national discussion about how genetics and family history influence breast cancer risk.
In her op-ed, Jolie explained that by having a double mastectomy, she significantly reduced her risk of breast cancer, and she encouraged women to be tested for a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation.
Not every woman needs testing though. More important, surgery is not always the right choice. The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) needed help clarifying this message and demonstrating their value as genetic counselors around the country braced for an increase in women requesting genetic testing.