NUALAS' singer Anne Gildea has spoken of her relief after tests revealed she is not carrying the "Angelina gene".
The 44-year-old had waited five months for the results of DNA tests that detect the inherited genetic mutation BRCA cancer gene. Carriers run a significantly higher risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer than the average person.
However, just 24 hours before she was to learn the outcome of tests, the cancer gene made headlines worldwide after movie star Angelina Jolie revealed how she had undergone a double mastectomy after learning she had inherited the same "faulty gene". But luckily for Anne she had a happier outcome, returning to St James's Hospital at 9am yesterday morning to be told the result of the tests.
"The Angelina story breaking the day before seemed like a strange omen, but I'm thrilled I don't have the gene," she said.
She will now be able to go ahead with reconstructive surgery next month after having a breast removed last year. But said that her battle with the illness and subsequent mastectomy in 2012 had given her the courage to face whatever yesterday's outcome had been.
"I've already had breast cancer and lost a breast, so I wouldn't have been that scared if the gene had been found, it just would have meant having my ovaries removed," she said.
With a history of cancer on both sides of her family, the stand-up decided to undergo the tests at St James's last January but had then been left waiting months as the blood samples were sent to the UK for analysis.
"Because of my family history and the sort of breast cancer I had, they thought it was likely I had this gene. But this kind of DNA test takes a long, long time, five months all told.
"Myself and my sister were laughing when we got the good news back," she said, praising the work of the medical team who looked after in St James's Hospital as "world class".
Prior to undergoing reconstructive surgery Anne will perform with The Nualas at The Forbidden Fruit Festival on the June Bank Holiday, and then, after her operation, has vowed to be well enough for a Nualas appearance at the Electric Picnic at the start of September.