Angelina Jolie and the One Percent

Angelina Jolie and the One Percent

There are 3 comments on the Scientific American story from May 20, 2013, titled Angelina Jolie and the One Percent. In it, Scientific American reports that:

After learning that she had inherited a mutation on one of the so-called breast cancer genes, actress Angelina Jolie decided to have a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Scientific American.

sheepleloveroyal ty

Bryn Mawr, PA

#1 May 20, 2013
Thank you for pointing out stuff like less than 1% of the women have the gene/s in question or 1 in 600 will wind up being affected and that many over estimate their cancer risk.

Too many will want to do the samething just because a celebrity did it. Others will want the attention. And many will simply do as the article stated-over estimate their cancer risk.

Onething I didn't realize is the Jolies mother survived 10 years with ovarian cancer last until age 56. The gene combo increases risk to cancer by 70. Also noted was that certain ethnic groups were more susceptible to getting certain cancers.

So why do many seemingly average 30 to 40ish year old feel the urge to take drastic measures before the cancer even strikes. One doctor even pointed out all this means is that you basically wont get cancer in the breast but year breast cancer or cancer could already have spread. If I and others relied on family history we'd be on a gurny, in a box or minus many body parts by now. It hasn't happend.

It's a personal decision to remove body parts but lets leave it at that. This should not be openly advocated or justified because too many will misinterpret, over react and/or assume they are a legitimate candidate for this type of procedure/process.

Stroudsburg, PA

#2 May 21, 2013
If not caught very early the disease is a nightmare.The side effects of treatment can lead to many additional problems such as heart damage and nerve damage (both of which I am left with). A healthy lifestyle and yearly mammograms may help but can't prevent it from happening. I am thin, excercise and eat right with no family history of the disease. I have never missed my yearly mammogram, yet 4 months after my mammogram I was in stage 3 breast cancer due to a very aggressive type of breast cancer I was 45. If you know your chances are very high that you will get the disease I don't blame women one bit for doing the procedure. It is a very personal choice and not one easily made. Yes they can still get cancer but the chances of it being breast cancer is very low. Only 5-10%. If you do not have bc to start and do the procedure you can not get bc in another part of your body. You have to have the disease in order for it to metastasize to distance locations. You can get a different cancer, yes. We don't smoke for heart and lungs. Eat right, excersise, etc.... these are all preventive for good health and prevent disease. When your chances of getting bc are over 80% then this procedure is also preventive. Once you get the disease even after the double mascetomy the chances of recurrence is always there. Living with this fear is not easy for anyone. This is a very personal choice and we should never judge another person for their choice if it is a choice that we have never had to make.
sheepleloveroyal ty

Bryn Mawr, PA

#3 May 21, 2013
It is a personal choice but how many women that now want this are actually in that 1% category in which there is yet a chance that it won't occur. My fear is those seeing a celebrity do this will do this out of their own fears and not because they fit that 1% category. You could say this for any cancer.

My problem with many cancer statistical studies is that they really don't account for the enviorment and toxins(even the doctor in the article noted that). I can't emphasize this enough that many people's parents and grand parents came from an era where they had much greater exposure to pollution and toxins. They had less nutritional and/or medical information. They even had a lower level of medical care. That could affect their pregancy and the genes they pass down. The recipes and lifestyle they teach their kids could have as much affect as anything. Point is it the genes OR enviorment?

Yes, treatment/chemo sucks. But I've known too many people who have gone through treatment and chemo and never really sufferred side effects and others you minus run them over with a truck instead of treating them. I've seen negative and positive results for treatment. And I've seen too many instances where the person defied the statistical odds. I've had several family & relatives be lifetime 1-2 pack/day smokers and they did not die of lung cancer. What wound up affecting them were the unrelated cancers and diseases.

The biggest negative outcome I've seen from cancer treatment was a punctured lung during a surgical procedure by the anethesiologist which in turn weakend the body to the point they couldn't tolerate and delayed treatment(that showed progress) for a month which in turn proved fatal. That's the problem with cancer treatments in general, they weaken the body to the point where it can't do anything for itself and in turn you rely on basically an artificial chemical balancing act. Your life is then based on the doctor's chemist skills.

It is a personal choice but cancer patients in general need to be more informed about the choices and not react/over react based on on one opinion or set of calculations. Or what a celebrity does.

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