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Angelina Jolie Announces She Has Undergone Preventive Double Mastectomy

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In an op-ed piece to be published in Tuesday’s New York Times, actressAngelina Jolie has announced that she recently completed a preventive double mastectomy. In the piece, the actress explains that the procedures have decreased her chances of getting breast cancer, from 87% to 5%, and that she feels “empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

Jolie says she is sharing her experience now in hopes that other women can benefit from it.

From Jolie’s New York Times op-ed:

My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.

Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.

Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.

On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work.

Jolie goes on to describe, in detail, the procedures, including a reconstruction that she says “can be beautiful.” She also praised husband Brad Pittfor his support, and advised “anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition.”

In December of 2011, oddly enough, E! correspondent Giuliana Rancicannounced that she would undergo double mastectomy surgery, and went straight from that announcement to an interview with… Angelina Jolie.

Read the full op-ed here.

by on May. 14, 2013 at 1:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
OrangeBalloon
by Member on May. 14, 2013 at 2:00 AM

Do you really mean NOT getting mammograms? 

That is pretty extreme, but I don't blame her for doing it. 

Quoting kailu1835:

Whatever. Way too extreme. There are plenty of ways to minimize the risks. Starting with no mammograms.


kailu1835
by Ruby Member on May. 14, 2013 at 2:04 AM
Yes, I do mean NOT getting mammograms. Mammograms use xray. For someone who already has genetic markers for breast cancer, a single xray can triple that person's risk. Ultrasound is not only a heck of a lot safer, it is also more accurate in determining whether a lump is a cyst or otherwise.
Quoting OrangeBalloon:

Do you really mean NOT getting mammograms? 

That is pretty extreme, but I don't blame her for doing it. 

Quoting kailu1835:

Whatever. Way too extreme. There are plenty of ways to minimize the risks. Starting with no mammograms.


babiesbabybaby development

Hi!  My name is Jenn!

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on May. 14, 2013 at 2:08 AM
3 moms liked this

That actually might turn out to be a very bad choice...

The lethal version of pre-menopausal breast cancer that she's trying to avoid is best caught in breasts... when there is no breast tissue for it to grow in, it's found too late to be treatable in other parts of the body.

She may well have just had her early warning system removed.

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on May. 14, 2013 at 2:09 AM
To summarise the Nordic Cochrane report that has caused all the fuss: If 2,000 women are regularly screened for 10 years * One woman will benefit and will avoid dying from breast cancer * 200 women will receive false positives * 10 women will be unnecessarily treated with surgery, radio- and/or chemotherapy, increasing her risks of dying from heart problems and even cancer. Are they right? Researchers at Southampton University set out to ´assess the claim in the Cochrane report that mammographic breast cancer screening could be doing more harm than good´. The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, December 2011 agreed with Cochrane and stated that mammograms indeed have ´caused net harm´. James Raftery, lead researcher added,"The default is to assume that screening must be good; catching something early must be good, but if a woman has an unnecessary mastectomy, or chemotherapy or radiation, that´s a tragedy. It´s difficult to balance the gain of one life against 200 false positives and 10 unnecessary surgeries". ~~~~~~ According to the US Journal of Radiation Research, mammography involves a different type of radiation than that used in ordinary X-rays: A low energy form of ionising radiation. This can pass more readily through tissues but is up to five times more harmful than standard X-rays. The same Journal says that the alpha particles of mammograms have both large mass and charge, quite unlike ordinary X-rays, which have neither. And here-in lays the first problem. That statement is completely inaccurate. And if the US Journal of Radiation Research can get it wrong what hope is there for us mere mortals?! Mammograms are merely X-rays but they do have a cumulative build-up effect. According to The American College of Clinical Thermography: A Literature Review and Commentary on the Current Status of Mammography, the level of exposure when both breasts are photographed - about 1 rad - is recorded as almost 1000 times higher than one chest x-ray, and lucent, pre-menopausal breast tissue has been shown to be especially sensitive to radiation. Each rad of radiation exposure has been shown to increase breast cancer risk by a little over 1 per cent. This is from: http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=1420

babiesbabybaby development

Hi!  My name is Jenn!

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on May. 14, 2013 at 2:09 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm with you.

I'm not having one of those mammogram things until they do the same thing to test for testicular cancer.

Breast cancer is associated with two things: physical trauma and radiation. Yea, both at once.

No thanks.

Quoting kailu1835:

Yes, I do mean NOT getting mammograms. Mammograms use xray. For someone who already has genetic markers for breast cancer, a single xray can triple that person's risk. Ultrasound is not only a heck of a lot safer, it is also more accurate in determining whether a lump is a cyst or otherwise.
Quoting OrangeBalloon:

Do you really mean NOT getting mammograms? 

That is pretty extreme, but I don't blame her for doing it. 

Quoting kailu1835:

Whatever. Way too extreme. There are plenty of ways to minimize the risks. Starting with no mammograms.



kailu1835
by Ruby Member on May. 14, 2013 at 2:12 AM
By the way, I don't have editing on the computer due to crawling internet, so I apologize for the lack of breaks in paragraphs :)
Goodwoman614
by Satan on May. 14, 2013 at 2:12 AM
4 moms liked this

Wow. And here I thought there was still a place for regular old doctors. And science.

but not any more!! 

Not when there's *free* advice from repliers on CM threads! 

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on May. 14, 2013 at 2:24 AM
It has been known for quite some time that xrays can increase the cancer risk. It is why when you go get an x ray on, say, your teeth or skeleton, they always block your breasts and reproductive organs. The kind of xray that is used in mammograms is a different kind. It is made to better permeate the body. This makes it so much more dangerous than regular xrays. It has now been proven, beyond doubt, that the breast cancer risk increases exponentially for people who have certain genetic markers for breast cancer. Doctors are great, but they only know what they are taught in medical school, and they are still teaching antiquated medicine, as well as how to do more to the patient, such as medicating when there are safer alternatives.
Quoting Goodwoman614:

Wow. And here I thought there was still a place for regular old doctors. And science.

but not any more!! 

Not when there's *free* advice from repliers on CM threads! 

babiesbabybaby development

Hi!  My name is Jenn!

pj2becca21
by Bronze Member on May. 14, 2013 at 2:28 AM
2 moms liked this

there are many ways to prevent breast cancer.

  1. Stay away from mammograms
  2. Stop using Anti- pursperents
kailu1835
by Ruby Member on May. 14, 2013 at 2:33 AM
antiperspirants lol That would be the aluminum in the deodorant that increases risk. You want to stay away from not just antiperspirants, but all things aluminum... like certain baking sodas, all pop cans, etc.
Quoting pj2becca21:

there are many ways to prevent breast cancer.

  1. Stay away from mammograms
  2. Stop using Anti- pursperents

babiesbabybaby development

Hi!  My name is Jenn!

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