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Angelina Jolie’s grieving uncle, Ron Martin, urged women to be proactive in maintaining their health by testing for any faults in their BRCA1 gene and by taking action if a problem is discovered.
On Sunday, we reported that Martin’s wife, Debbie, had passed away from breast cancer at age 61 at the Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California. Sadly, she carried a faulty BRCA1 gene.
A healthy BRCA1 gene is supposed to prevent the onset of breast cancer. It produces a protein that slows the body’s cells from growing or dividing too rapidly – a process that leads to the formation of cancerous tumors.
A mutated BRCA1 gene, however, does not produce this necessary protein and therefore results in a high risk of breast cancer in women.
This is what happened to Jolie’s aunt.
Entertainmentwise reports that Uncle Martin is now speaking up about preventative health services and is imploring women to utilize them to take control of their futures.
Martin said, “If there is a lot of women out there that have a high risk in their family they should get tested, and if they have that BRCA gene, then they have the opportunity to take pre-emptive action.”
He continued, "That is what Debbie would like to have happen.”
Mere weeks before this plea, Martin’s niece, actress Angelina Jolie, discovered that she too had a mutated BRCA1 gene. Though she wasn’t diagnosed, Jolie willingly underwent a double mastectomy in an attempt to avoid breast cancer altogether.
Martin said that he and his late wife were proud of this decision.
“It gave [Debbie] some, it gave her a lot of gratitude that Angelina had now saved her own life... and since she couldn't go back and save herself, she was very happy to hear that.”