May 16, 2013

If I Were Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie
A news item which went viral over various social media caught my attention this week. Angelina Jolie had her two breasts removed! The beautiful celebrity herself detailed—albeit unemotionally—her voluntary double mastectomy in an article she contributed to the New York Times.
Angelina Jolie said she watched her mother grimly fight breast cancer for a decade—a fight which she lost in the end. Apparently scarred by her mother’s death, Ms. Jolie took some steps to assess her own probability of someday coming down with breast cancer. Unfortunately, it was found that she had the dreaded BRCA1 gene which, according to oncologists, lends her an 85% risk of getting breast cancer.
Consultation with cancer specialists led to her decision to have both of her breasts removed as a way to cut her risk of getting breast cancer down from 85% to only 5%. Ms. Jolie said the surgery had Brad Pitt’s approval.

My initial reaction was one of confused disbelief which later turned to a deep sense of waste. To have anatomical body parts removed when they are as yet healthy is unbelievably horrible. True, some would commend her pragmatism and bravery, and especially her coming out into the open with her surgery, yet I still consider it unnecessary.

If I were Angelina Jolie, I would not allow any smart-aleck doctor to remove my breasts when there is nothing wrong with them. If I had Angelina Jolie’s wealth, I would use my vast resources to ensure that I could prevent the development of breast cancer but in a natural and non-invasive way.
I would perhaps buy only organic produce, milk and meats. Or I would hire a farmer trained in organic farming to grow organic fruits and vegetables for my consumption. I would find me some quaint little village where the air is clean and where there is a healthful spring to supply my water needs. I would buy the purest natural and organic toiletries I could find such as my money could afford. I would scour the whole world for the choicest turmeric, grape seed extract, virgin coconut oil, berries and other wonder herbs which fight cancer naturally.
If I were Angelina Jolie, I would use my vast wealth to invest in natural, safe and painless preventive measures. I would probably give up sources of stress and find time to nurture my soul and spirit. I would surround myself with things and people that would nourish and fortify my body as well as strengthen my soul.
If I were Angelina Jolie, it probably would never occur to me to have my breasts removed. Not just because these parts are iconic symbols of the feminine shape (although that is a big factor) but also because there is just something precious about each body part that I have—whether it’s just my little finger or the lobe of my ear. I would never give up any part of my body just because of some abstract statistic. For an actual, real risk—gangrene or irreparable post-accident damage— removal may be in order, but for a mere, bookish probable risk? A resounding no. Stories abound of clinically diagnosed cancer cases which revert back to normal after nothing more than a switch to healthy eating, living and thinking. Surely surgery is not the only way to prevent cancer. As a article puts it, Angelina Jolie may have been duped by cancer specialists into self-mutilation. Tsk, tsk…

Here are some of my previous posts on breast cancer:
How to lower your risk for breast cancer
Breast Cancer News

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