Topics covered in this Article:
- What Angelina Jolie did to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk?
- What has been done to Reduce Cancer Risk?
- Why is Angelina Jolie’s story, Inspirational for Cancer Patients?
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In 2013 after finding that she possesses a mutation of the BRCA1 gene that significantly increases her chance of getting breast cancer.
Mastectomy means removing a person’s breasts by medical operation.
Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy. Both BRCA1 and BRCA2 function as tumour suppressors.
If these genes are mutated, women are more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancers. Other cancer types may also be more likely to develop in such people.
A BRCA mutation increases a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer from an average of 12% to 70%.
Preventive mastectomy (mastectomy to avoid ever acquiring breast cancer) rates have skyrocketed in recent years since testing for BRCA mutations became widely available.
Studies have shown that the surgery may reduce the chance of getting breast cancer by as much as 90%.
What Angelina Jolie did to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk?
Although the risk varies for each woman, her physicians had given her a 90% chance of developing breast cancer.
Once she accepted this as her truth, she made the conscious decision to take preventative measures. She opted for a double mastectomy to eliminate any potential risks.
Angelina had a Prophylactic Mastectomy to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer. Removing one or both breasts before the development of breast cancer is called a prophylactic mastectomy.
Watch this quick video to know about, What is Prophylactic Mastectomy?
What has been done to Reduce Cancer Risk?
A mastectomy is a significant operation; as with any procedure, there is always the chance of anything going wrong.
Even though the process significantly reduces the likelihood of developing breast cancer, it does not provide a 100% assurance that cancer will be avoided in the little bits of tissue left behind.
Breast cancer has a reasonably good cure rate if caught early, and some experts emphasize that women at higher risk may benefit from expanded and more regular screening and monitoring.
Finally, some drugs may reduce (but not remove) the risk of cancer in high-risk women. Preventative treatment, or chemoprevention, is used to lessen the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
The most extreme and, despite its limitations, most successful method of preventing breast cancer is preventative surgery.
Salpingo-oophorectomy (the removal of the ovaries and Fallopian tubes) is performed on certain women with BRCA mutations as preventive medicine to lessen their chances of developing ovarian cancer.
Surgical reconstruction of the breasts is an option for women who have had a prophylactic mastectomy.
A must read for every woman : Breast Health Education.
Why is Angelina Jolie’s story, Inspirational for Cancer Patients?
Angelina Jolie is a role model for those battling cancer since she has first-hand seen how devastating this disease can be.
Cancer of the breast and ovaries took the life of her mother. Both her grandma and aunt had ovarian cancer, and her mother had breast cancer.
She also had a preventive salpingo-oophorectomy done on high-risk women to prevent ovarian or breast cancer by removing the tubes and ovaries even if they are otherwise healthy.
Angelina Jolie has informed the media of this, which has helped dispel widespread anxiety about cancer and cancer treatment.
Major surgery may be expensive, but private insurance often covers preventative mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
A medical practitioner can advise you on whether or not you must be examined for BRCA mutations and what kind of preventative measures would be most effective if you are worried about developing breast cancer.
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