Angelina Jolie’s Brave, Yet Necessary Decision Against Cancer

by on May 16, 2013

in bruce's thoughts

Angelina Jolie in The Tourist 101

It was crazy news to see.  It was 3 a.m. (Insomnia attack) and I pulled the article.

The headlines were unforgiving as they announced Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a prophylactic  mastectomy to stay out from under the dreadful shadow of breast cancer.

The reason Jolie made the choice to have a mastectomy was that she carries the genetic mutation or genetic variant that puts her in a short list of people who are told they have a very strong chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer.

The gene is called the BRCA1.

As she put it in a letter posted on the NY Times:

“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. “

And having watched her mother go through a long, ten-year battle with cancer, and thinking of her own children, Angelina made this brave decision.

And amazing as it sounds, she was going through and enduring the processes of mastectomies in the early part of the year, finishing this journey she was on, in late April.

Angelina is not alone.  I’m sure there are many, many celebrities that have had to deal with this personal issue, but the more notable names in that list include Kathy Bates, Wanda Sykes, Giuliana Rancic, Christina Applegate, Sharon Osbourne.

It’s a decision that creates a new level of respect for the woman.  Up until now, she was a humanitarian who liked adopting children from all four corners of the globe.

But now, I see her as a brave woman willing to take care of herself, for the sake of her family.

Angelina Jolie

Each year, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but honestly, every day is such.  Cancer doesn’t take a break and wait until October to strike.

“Breast cancer alone kills some 458,000 people each year”

And though it’s referred to as breast cancer, but really, it’s just cancer, with the name of any kind of cancer as the reference to its location.

And the fight against cancer must go on.  Day in and day out.  And to be honest, as science could always use a helping hand in the battle, there’s only so much we can do.  But we can help.

Fight Against Breast Cancer

$1.  That’s all it takes.  If it feels stupid, think about this…  during one NASCAR race last October, many of the teams ran pink decorations or even totally pink cars in an effort to raise awareness.

If everyone who watched the race felt that they had it in them to pitch in a single dollar, that would  have been a quick $4 million in the fight against this monster.

Don’t let this thing continue to scare the crap out of people or ruin their lives.  Even if it’s a dollar, it counts for something.

This thing comes out of nowhere and impacts 1 in 8 women.  And that number might seem small, but if you take a moment to think about all the women you know, you just haven’t realized that you know many women who have had to deal with the surprise diagnosis and the horrible personal journey afterwards.

And it affects men too, so don’t think you’re on the outside looking in on this one!

Cancer itself hits 2 out 5 people.  It needs to be stopped in its tracks. So yes, even a dollar can go a long way.  The below links are options and resources…

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National Breast Cancer Foundation
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Healthline Breast Cancer Anatomy
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Thank you.

Below is a note from Angelina Jolie about her journey in this scenario.

nytimes: my medical choice

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Peter Cawdron July 1, 2013 at 11:08 pm

…and within weeks of this happening, her aunt died from breast cancer after battling with it for a decade… Jolie made a tough call, but given her family history and being a carrier of the BRCA1 gene, it was most certainly the right call.

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