My experience of running a business and a home

If Only We All Could Get Tested

The news today that Angelina Jolie has undergone a preventative double mastectomy is brilliant. It raises massive awareness about breast cancer and for such a huge celebrity to have undergone this surgery paves the way I think for many more women to follow suit.

angelina

I have always considered Angelina Jolie as a stunning woman, as well as being a brilliant actress and having a gorgeous husband, and undergoing the double mastectomy will not change any of that. Reading the article that was released today which describes some of the procedures she had it sounds like she has just been left with a few small scars, and has had the breast fully reconstructed, so no physical change either.

Angelina had the terrible experience of losing her Mum to breast cancer at an early age, and was tested for the rogue BRCA1 gene which she has, and this gave her an 87% risk of contracting breast cancer. Having the gene also gives a 50% chance of contracting ovarian cancer too so I wonder if she will go for a preventative hysterectomy too? Now that she has had the mastectomy her risk of breast cancer is just 5%.

I am fortunate that none of the women in my bloodline have had breast cancer but it doesn’t always pass through your genes. If I was offered a test for the BRCA1 gene I would definitely go and get tested, as it would be just like getting a regular smear test for cervical cancer. Then if the gene was present I wouldn’t have any issue with getting a mastectomy if it took away the risk for the future.

It will be interesting to see what happens following this high profile mastectomy. Would the NHS ever bring the test in as a routine check for women over a certain age maybe … then what would the follow up course of action be if you tested positive? The cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 is apparently $3000 in the USA which kind of makes it prohibitive to many.

According to the article, breast cancer kills 458,000 a year in the world so there should be a bigger push to reduce this. If this is the figure for the number of people who die from breast cancer, how many have suffered the affects and treatment of the cancer, including a mastectomy.

As a side note I love Mr Skin’s take on the news *farewell funbags* … I’m sure she looks just as good :) (Warning…naked Angelina)

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