The Latest Advances in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Dr. Kristi Funk discusses new treatments, tests and breakthroughs on the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
4:40 | 10/01/15

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Transcript for The Latest Advances in the Fight Against Breast Cancer
the latest in the fight against breast cancer. "Gma" goes pink this morning. There have been so many headlines recently about breast cancer diagnosis and the treatment including the impact Angelina Jolie is having on women's awareness about the disease. We're going to speak with Jolie's surgeon in a moment but first a look at how far we've come. It's a disease that seems to touch nearly every family and never leaves the headlines. This year more than 230,000 women in the U.S. Can expect a breast cancer diagnosis. But thanks to early diagnosis and advanced in treatment, it's far from a death sentence. In fact, the five-year survival rate is now 90%. Increased awareness is also proving beneficial. After testing positive for the brca1 gene Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy and removal of her ovaries. Following that there was a surge of women seeking genetic testing and this week another study showed her story parked improved public awareness about reconstructive breast surgery options. When one of the most beautiful women in the world comes forward with her medical decision-making it's a really important conversation starter and gives individuals a lot of information to take to their doctors. Reporter: And genetics isn't just being used to cooling late risk but on the front lines. It enables some to skip chemotherapy following diagnosis and get jet ticks are being used for those with the disease. And joining us now is Angelina Jolie's breast surgeon and the co-founder of the pink lotus breast center, Dr. Kristi funk. Good morning and thanks for being with us. Thanks for having me. It's remarkable. 2 1/2 years roughly since Angelina Jolie went public about her decision and the impact is real and you've got more on the study. I do. So this Austrian study is so revealing. Her bold shocking op-ed actually created intrigue and education, another 20% of women who previously said not so interested in breast cancer now said, you know, tell me about that. Who is at risk, how do you treat it? Another 20% miller. She told me she had kids of her own and asked me do you mind if I help? That's when she stepped in and she took Riley and as soon as she took her Riley looked out the window and bounced her around and Riley crying needed that relief. Luckily in that moment she only fell asleep she stayed asleep the entire flight. Reporter: Even at the end of the nearly two-hour flight miller continued to lend a hand. She took Riley followed me right off the plane right off to the side. She waitedle they brought up the stroller and the car seat and held her that whole time. Reporter: Moved writing on amazing happened to I will neverteful a im for it. This comments oo flding inve Erline, the guidelines are brca1, ovaries out by 35 years old, brca2 by 40. You can freeze eggs and keep your uterus so future pregnancy and childbearing is not off the table but dying from ovarian cancer is. Who should get tested. The short list is if you yourself have had breast cancer under 50 or ovarian cancer at any age or family history, mom and dad's side, first, second and third degree generations so your dad's mother's brother, what did he die from was it pancreatic, you should know the answer. Any had breast under 50, ovarian any age, any men had breast cancer or known gene mutation. Quick one-minute quiz, br brcatestquiz.com. That's perfect. It does affect so many and speaking of genetics they are helping us not only decide if people are at Rick for cancer, but determining course of treatment. Exactly so there are some gene tests that kind of look at the fingerprint, like the personal biology of your cancer. Does that guy want to come back again in a liver, lung, brain kind of place and if it does, chemo is going to help make that number lower but if it doesn't you're off the hook. Chemo won't help, don't even do it. Tell me about the pink lotus foundation. I'm the ambassador of the pink lotus foundation and what we do is provide low income uninsured and underinsured women 100% free access to breast cancer screenings, diagnosis, care, support and this also impacts women who are just devastated financially maybe a spouse died or there's a fire that burnt down their home. It happens and these women all across America go homeless over a diagnosis trying to pay for it. Thank you bore for what you do because access should be universal. Dr. Kristi funk, thank you so much. Thank you.

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