Suzanne Mahon, DNSc, has run the Hereditary Cancer Program in the Saint Louis University Cancer Center since 1999 and is a professor of internal medicine and adult nursing at Saint Louis University. Mahon has been an oncology nurse for 30 years, with more than 25 years of experience counseling patients who are at high genetic risk of cancer on steps they can take to protect their health. Among a small number of nurses who are credentialed genetics professionals, Mahon received the 2011 Founders Award for Excellence in Patient and Professional Education in Genetics from the International Society of Nurses in Genetics.

She said Angelina Jolie made the right decision and praised her willingness to discuss her personal health issues as a way of impacting the lives of others.

“Her lifetime risk was 40 to 50 percent for a disease that we can’t find with an early detection method. In addition, ovarian cancer is seldom found early enough for treatments to be effective,” Mahon said.

“Angelina Jolie is making it acceptable for women to talk about the issue and consider the option. You don’t see the scars from the oophorectomy but the consequences are huge.”

Click here for a release quoting Mahon about new genetics tests.