Shay’s Thoughts on Preventive Mastectomies
The public was shocked yesterday when it was revealed that Angelina Jolie had undergone a preventive double or bi-lateral mastectomy, only she hadn't been diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a preventive measure as tests showed she had an 87% chance of getting cancer in the future. I'm not sure if people were more shocked at what she had done or the fact that it had been kept secret for so long. Either way it was water cooler talk for the day.
The procedure is controversial because some see it has unnecessary if there is no diagnosis of cancer while others believe it is a smart, controlled move. I tend to side with the latter. I do feel it is a good idea and totally within her right to have the preventive measures taken to reduce her chances of having cancer develop in the future.
For her, with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, it wasn't a case of IF she would get cancer but WHEN it would happen. Her mother was only in her 50's when she passed and with Angelina having 6 young children to raise she didn't want to find herself going through what her mother did.
Having gone through this myself just this past year, I feel I can say it's something I would seriously have thought about if I had the family history she had. Doing what she did she reduced her chances of getting cancer from 87% to now about 5%. I didn't have a family history of the disease, yet upon my first mammogram and a follow up biopsy, I found out I was already at a stage II and I had just turned 40 weeks before.
I've read comments on this subject that state she shouldn't have done this, it wasn't right, there were other options, it was unnecessary, etc., etc. To that I say "it's not your body or your choice." Maybe it's not the right decision for you but it was for her and it would have been for me as well. Until you have faced this I don't think you know what you might do. I never imagined, in a million years, that I would have to go through what I did. It honestly wasn't bad. I had a mammogram, biopsy, bi-lateral mastectomy, chemo, and started reconstruction all within 1 year. I have one more surgery left to finish my reconstruction.
I know there is always the possibility of it returning but chances are low. I'm sure Angelina will always have that thought as well, but she knows too, that she has now lowered her chances tremendously and can move forward with more peace of mind as well.