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Thread: Angelina Jolie To Have More Cancer Prevention Surgery

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    mjw
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    Default Angelina Jolie To Have More Cancer Prevention Surgery

    The actress made headlines around the world last year after she announced she'd had a preventative double mastectomy in a New York Times op-ed

    Less than a year after penning a revealing op-ed in the New YorkTimes about her decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy, Angelina Jolie has revealed that she plans to have more cancer-prevention surgery.


    Last May, Jolie wrote that she’d tested positive for the breast-cancer-related BRCA1 gene, meaning she had a horrifying 87 percent chance of developing the disease. “Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could,”Jolie wrote. “I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy.” Doctors said the surgery reduced her risk of developing breast cancer to just 5 percent.


    But carrying the BRCA1 gene also means that Jolie’s risk of developing ovarian cancer—the disease which took her mother’s life at the age of 56—is at 50 percent and the Oscar-winning actress has confirmed that she’s planning on undergoing more surgery to lower her cancer risk. “There’s still another surgery to have, which I haven’t [had] yet,” she told Entertainment Weekly, for this week’s cover story. “I’ll get advice from all these wonderful people who I’ve been talking to, to get through that next stage.”



    In her Times op-ed, Jolie also wrote about her decision to make her health issues public, writing, “I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.”


    [EW]

    Angelina Jolie To Have More Cancer Prevention Surgery - TIME

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I don't blame her. Makes sense. I know she misses her mother.
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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    I'd do the same. I hope it goes well for her.

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Yeah, if I knew I was staring down the barrel of a loaded gun, I would do what I could to get out of the line of fire, too.
    rockchick likes this.
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    Elite Member Bombshell's Avatar
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    Totally don't blame her.

    I went through that genetic testing. Luckily only had a 0.3% chance of carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2, so they don't test specifically under those circumstances. I have a pretty high percentage for "familial", though, so I get a mammy AND an MRI once a year, spaced out every 6 months.

    I certainly understand why she is being so proactive. It's amazing how many strides we really HAVE made in some areas of cancer prevention when you think about where we were 20 years ago. Still so far to go, though, and still way too many people lost to it every single day.
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    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    Ah poor soul, that's rough. My friend is about to go through genetic testing for breast cancer after her mother and grandmother both had cancer in their forties, and it may sound silly but she's said that Angelina talking about her situation openly helped her have the courage to have the tests done.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^
    my best friend keeps putting off the testing and it freaks me out. her mother flat out refuses to do it even though her sister's had it and their mother and aunts all died of it.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Bronze Member gemma t.morrow's Avatar
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    I feel sorry for her but admire her too.

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    Elite Member manningmsj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    ^^^
    my best friend keeps putting off the testing and it freaks me out. her mother flat out refuses to do it even though her sister's had it and their mother and aunts all died of it.
    My aunt passed away in the early nineties of breast cancer. She was notoriously phobic of doctors and hospitals and waited too long. Her oldest daughter (technically my first cousin, but she's 18 months younger than my mom so I consider her an aunt) is now the same way. It's sad to me because she's educated (college professor) and knows the risk, but has never had a mammogram at nearly 60. Her oldest son is literally a genius (he's a rocket scientist working on the successor to the Hubble - her kids are so successful they make me and my siblings look like schlubs) and he's just like her, though not to the same degree. It amazes me that perfectly bright people can be so impractical about their own health, especially knowing that the reason their loved one died was because she too avoided treatment and likely would have survived otherwise.

    I have some super shitty genes on both sides - All four grandparents died in their sixties of cancer, as well as the aunt and two uncles (one on each side) in their forties. Other relatives have fought and survived and I myself have had some troubling ovarian cysts. Plus diabetes is high on both sides. My mother's second oldest sister is probably my longest living relative at 75; most tap out in the early sixties. With those kind of odds, maybe it's easy to just give up and accept the inevitable, but for me it just means being that much more proactive and vigilant about my health. Cancer may be an unavoidable fact, but dying from it doesn't have to be. Good for Angie for doing whatever she feels is necessary to stay alive and setting an example in the process.
    Belt Up likes this.
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    I have a lot of respect for her for discussing this. Yes, her finances make her options far greater than the average individual. I also understand women who fear the test for insurance reasons. But one of my closest friends is a 62 year old surgeon who hasn't had a mammogram or a colonoscopy. Insanity...

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    Elite Member NickiDrea's Avatar
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    I'd absolutely do it.
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    Lots of breast cancer in MrAOs family, my lot have the bowel cancer gene. Double whammy for my kids but they need to be aware and do the necessary screening and tests. I'm off for my annual colonoscopy next month. Ho hum.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    There was an article in the NY Times last month about how one of the largest, longest and most meticulous studies ever done on breast cancer screening has shown that the death rate from breast cancer is the same for women that get mammographied and those that don't. I believe the study was published in the BMJ and was done in Canada.

    Not the same as the whole BRCA thing of course, but extremely interesting.
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    Elite Member ariesallover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bombshell View Post
    Totally don't blame her.

    I went through that genetic testing. Luckily only had a 0.3% chance of carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2, so they don't test specifically under those circumstances. I have a pretty high percentage for "familial", though, so I get a mammy AND an MRI once a year, spaced out every 6 months.

    I certainly understand why she is being so proactive. It's amazing how many strides we really HAVE made in some areas of cancer prevention when you think about where we were 20 years ago. Still so far to go, though, and still way too many people lost to it every single day.
    Agreed. My mom died of ovarian cancer in July, and I have been advised to get the genetic testing done.

    Do you have any fears about the effects of the radiation from yearly mammys on your breasts? I am being told it's "incidental," but somehow that doesn't intuitively ring true.

    I am being followed right now by a cancer center for ectopic breast tissue. I don't have mammys that frequently though. I am pushing for an ultrasound in lieu of mammograms, but I think there are things that can be seen only on mammogram? I'm still figuring it out.

    ETA:

    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    There was an article in the NY Times last month about how one of the largest, longest and most meticulous studies ever done on breast cancer screening has shown that the death rate from breast cancer is the same for women that get mammographied and those that don't. I believe the study was published in the BMJ and was done in Canada.


    I will be googling for this, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by SapphireJD View Post
    I also understand women who fear the test for insurance reasons.
    There's some hope there. The HIPAA Omnibus Rule incorporates (and gives some teeth to) "GINA," or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which protects genetic info so that health insurers can't use or disclose genetic info for underwriting purposes.
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    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    I would totally take the steps to prevent as well. Cancer is still a death sentence to far too many.
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