Posts Tagged ‘ mastectomy ’

Angelina Jolie’s Double Mastectomy Raises BRCA-1 Gene Awareness

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

The actress Angelina Jolie’s announcement this week that she underwent multiple surgeries for a double mastectomy has given a very public face to the difficult decisions women face if they find out they have the BRCA-1 gene, which significantly raises a woman’s risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer in her lifetime.  Many women, like Jolie, undergo preventative surgeries to remove their breasts, ovaries, or both.  The decision is particularly grueling for women who may want to have children before surgery.

Jolie, in a New York Times editorial, wrote about her decision and how, although complex, her surgeries have not negatively affected her family:

I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.

It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.

I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.

For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.

Image: Angelina Jolie, via vipflash / Shutterstock.com

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Giuliana Rancic to Undergo Double Mastectomy

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Giuliana Rancic, the E! television personality who also has a reality program on the Style Network, has decided to undergo a double mastectomy to treat her breast cancer.  Rancic and her husband, a former winner of Donald Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice,” have chronicled their journey to start a family through in-vitro fertilization in public, and the couple is also being public about their breast cancer journey.

In October, Rancic announced her cancer diagnosis, revealing it at a time when her fans had hoped she’d be announcing a pregnancy.  Today she told E! Online that she is afraid heading into the mastectomy, but optimistic that the surgery will “save [her] life” and enable her to move on to live a full and healthy life.

“Am I scared? Yes. Scared of the unknown. Scared of the pain,” Giuliana confesses. “But I’m not scared of what I’ll be like. I’ll have scars, but I like scars. Scars are beautiful because they tell a story.

“I’ll be able to say that I survived something major and it’s made me stronger. I will be a better woman for it.”

(Image via: http://onlinebeautysalon.blogspot.com)

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