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Angelina Jolie and Breast Cancer

By May 15, 2013December 9th, 2014Claudia's Corner

I think the Angelina Jolie bashing (in light of her decision to lower her odds of getting breast or ovarian cancer by choosing a double mastectomy) is interesting…skeptical or negative comments coming from men, from women who do not have a history of breast cancer in their families…questioning how she lives (why didn’t she just adopt a healthier lifestyle?) Some comments seem to stem from a fear that her personal decision is going to send hoards of women to surgeons for the same treatment. (This is not the same thing as a nose job, people!) Celebrity influence can occur…remember Betty Ford starting a conversation about breast cancer by letting the world know she had breast cancer? Her act brought a taboo subject out in the open.  A celebrity spotlight is not always a bad thing.

We don’t know how Ms Jolie lives so how can we fault her for not choosing a ‘healthier lifestyle’?

Several of my friends have had breast cancer or a history of grandmothers and mothers who died of breast cancer. One, many years ago, opted to have a double mastectomy before she had cancer..she didn’t want to live under the pall of fear her whole life. (We know how negative thought can impact health and happiness.) Others did not choose such a radical path. Those women died from breast or ovarian cancer related to the initial diagnosis of breast cancer. Would that have happened if another path had been taken no one can say.

When does having an opinion about something become being judgmental about that same thing? I’ve not ‘walked a mile’ in those cancer shoes so I have no idea what I would do in that same situation, but it seems a bit mean-spirited to fault a person who is actually wearing those shoes for making a decision to try to beat the cancer odds.

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