FROM Ellen Matloff
Angelina Jolie, Breast Cancer and Radical Surgery In 1974, First Lady Betty Ford talked openly about her mastectomy, bringing the fears of every woman out into the open. Since then, much has changed, including the discovery of the BRCA 1 and 2 genes in 1994 and 95. This week, international super-star Angelina Jolie revealed her decision to have both breasts removed — even though she did not yet have cancer – starting a new conversation about what to do if genetic testing shows a high risk for the disease. Experts say the most important lesson is that even the testing is not for everyone, let alone a double mastectomy. There’s concern that many women will demand more treatment than they need, partly because of the "pink ribbon" culture and the medical industry. We hear more about the agonizing decisions women might be faced with all on their own.
Genetic Breakthroughs: Patents and Profits Mapping the human genome began "the biological gold rush of the 21st Century," with companies now owning patents on 4000 human genes. Today, the US Supreme Court is being asked to strike down two patents on BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, genes that helped doctors discover both breast and ovarian cancer. Nobody can do that without paying Myriad Genetics , which isolated the genes. But opponents argue the genes are "products of Nature." We hear about a case with long-term implications for the future of "personalized medicine" designed to serve the needs of each individual patient.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.