In an Op-Ed published in the New York Times of May 14, 2013, Angelina Jolie states that she elected to have both her breasts removed (and that she will have her ovaries removed) on the advice of her doctors because they said she had an 87% risk of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
I get it. 87% is a high figure. The odds were definitely not on her side. Losing her mother to ovarian cancer at the young age of 56 also didn’t help. But was a double mastectomy really necessary? It may appear to be so in the short run but wouldn’t you rather put all the odds on your side and make the necessary changes to your day to day life? This way, you can not only reduce your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer but of other cancers and diseases.
Is a double mastectomy the best form of prevention for breast cancer?
While a double mastectomy is a preventive measure, it’s a radical one. Jolie could have died from complications from the surgery. She could never have woken up from the anesthesia alone. Going under the knife always comes with potential risk.
While it definitely reduces the odds, even a double mastectomy does not guarantee that she will not get breast cancer. And what about other diseases? Will a double mastectomy reduce her risk of getting other diseases?
If your doctor tells you that you now are at risk of colon cancer, would you get your colon removed? Where do you draw the line?
I’m no doctor here and I am in no way advising or suggesting anyone to do or not do anything. I just want you to know that there are always options. Some are better than others. You might need to combine a number of things to get the desired outcome. Do your research.
It’s amazing what can happen to your health and life when you work on your outlook (yes, your state of mind), how much sleep you get, how much stress you allow into our lives as well as your diet (for example, how much acid forming foods you eat & drink, how many vegetables you eat), exercise, and your lifestyle in general. Just know that cancer cannot exist in an alkaline and well-oxygenated body.
With the biggest library the world has EVER known at our fingertips, the Internet, there is no excuse to not explore the numerous preventive measures out there.
There’s risk in everything we do. Life is risky; it can end abruptly and without warning. You could die in a car accident. But to mitigate the risk, you pay attention to the traffic around you, you manage your speed to what the car and the traffic can handle, you wear a seatbelt, you use a car that’s built to withstand accidents etc. It’s the same with health. If you wouldn’t drive a go-cart on the freeway, why would you neglect any solutions to be as healthy as possible?
Angelina Jolie and so many other women who are ‘at risk’ for breast cancer and ovarian cancer have a choice and the ability to make appropriate changes to their lifestyle and diet and reduce the risk of these dreaded cancers today. We have far more power than we give ourselves credit for. We just need to become conscious of the fact that we have the power to choose and implement whatever we want, good or bad. We just have to take an interest in our health and act upon it. Our bodies are amazing. Give your body the fuel it needs to work as effectively as it can.
What are you doing to mitigate the risk of illness? What will you do today for a better tomorrow?