Angelina Jolie Has Double Mastectomy

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Angelina Jolie Has Double Mastectomy
17
Tue, 05-14-2013 - 7:46am

Angelina Jolie says she has undergone a preventive double mastectomy after being told that she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer, along with a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.

In an article published in the opinion section of Tuesday's New York Times, Jolie said her decision was informed by her mother's long fight against cancer. Marcheline Bertrand died in 2007 at age 56.

Jolie said she hoped that other women would find encouragement from her story. 

"I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer," Jolie said in the Times article. "It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options." 

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/14/18240043-angelina-jolie-i-had-double-mastectomy-because-of-high-breast-cancer-risk?lite

Wow! If you had the testing done, and your results were similar, would you have made the same choice?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Sat, 05-18-2013 - 8:51pm

 Just the same that anyone can develope cancer anywhere.

But a much higher risk of developing cancer linked to the mutation. 

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Sat, 05-18-2013 - 8:35pm

emptynester2009 wrote:
<p><blockquote class="quote-msg quote-nest-1 odd"><div class="quote-author"><em class="placeholder">jamblessedthree</em> wrote:</div>&lt;p&gt;My concern about this procedure is that it focuses in on one part of your body, Many cancer victims don't just develop and die from breast cancer, It metastasizes and spreads to other parts of the body. Is this treatment a guarantee that cancer won't get in some other way?&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt; &lt;/p&gt;</blockquote></p><p><span style="font-family:comic sans ms,sans-serif; font-size:medium">This does not just focus on breast cancer. This is a specic gene mutation that increases the risk of breast cancer  and possibly pancreatic cancer in both men and woman,  ovarian cancer in woman and protate cancer in men.  All of those things are monitored.  The breast and the ovaries  are sometimes preventively removed. <br /></span></p><p><span style="font-family:comic sans ms,sans-serif; font-size:medium">There are no guarentees in cancer period and also just because someone sucessfully avoids the cancers linked to this gene there is no reason they cannot develop another cancer.   In the same way that no one has to have this gene mutation to develop these cancers.  <br /></span></p>

Ok then, You could still develop a cancer somewhere else.

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Sat, 05-18-2013 - 8:26pm

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p>My concern about this procedure is that it focuses in on one part of your body, Many cancer victims don't just develop and die from breast cancer, It metastasizes and spreads to other parts of the body. Is this treatment a guarantee that cancer won't get in some other way?</p><p> </p>

This does not just focus on breast cancer. This is a specic gene mutation that increases the risk of breast cancer  and possibly pancreatic cancer in both men and woman,  ovarian cancer in woman and protate cancer in men.  All of those things are monitored.  The breast and the ovaries  are sometimes preventively removed.

There are no guarentees in cancer period and also just because someone sucessfully avoids the cancers linked to this gene there is no reason they cannot develop another cancer.   In the same way that no one has to have this gene mutation to develop these cancers. 

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Sat, 05-18-2013 - 8:12pm

My concern about this procedure is that it focuses in on one part of your body, Many cancer victims don't just develop and die from breast cancer, It metastasizes and spreads to other parts of the body. Is this treatment a guarantee that cancer won't get in some other way?

 

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Sat, 05-18-2013 - 7:16pm

>If you don't meet any of these criteria, you are not likely to have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene change. Only about 2 out of 100 adult women have an increased risk of having a BRCA gene change.<a href="http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/kb/content/medicaltest/tu6462.html#tu6462-Bib" rel="nofollow">2</a></p><p><a href="http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/kb/content/medicaltest/tu6462.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/kb/content/medicaltest/tu6462.html</a></p>[/quote]

Going by that criteria my DH is the only one in our  that would fit.  His mother had breast cancer (a life long survivor)  and his DD was diagnised at age 29.  My other daughters could not be tested and yet one came up positive. 

They are not taking into account that it does not have to be rampant in a family to be an issue.  As far as we know DH's mother and DD1 are the only cases of breast cancer in our family yet the gene is there. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Sat, 05-18-2013 - 7:00pm

 I am surprised you did not qualified but those criteria are based on careful research. 

Ask your doctor; you might be able to pay for the genetic test, if it would give you peace of mind. You also may be elligible for increase breast cancer monitoring because, even though you might not have the  BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation there is something happening in your family. My experience here (In Ontario) that women are rountinely screened for breast cancer with the frequency of screening depending on age and risk factors. Women with breast cancer in the family but not necessarily with the mutation, go more frequently.  I go (no breast cancer in my family) every 6 months now after a "blimp" on my biannual mammogram caused the radiologist concern.  Of course, like all other testing, this is no cost to me.

Good luck

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sat, 05-18-2013 - 1:03pm

Looked up for testing in Canada and found this:

  • If you are not of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, some experts recommend a gene test if you have one or more of the following:
  • - Two first-degree relatives with breast cancer, one of whom was diagnosed before age 50
    • - Three or more first- or second-degree relatives with breast cancer, diagnosed at any age
    • - Both breast and ovarian cancer among your first- and second-degree relatives
    • - A first-degree relative with cancer in both breasts
    • - Two or more relatives with ovarian cancer
    • - One relative with both breast and ovarian cancer
    • - A male relative with breast cancer

If you don't meet any of these criteria, you are not likely to have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene change. Only about 2 out of 100 adult women have an increased risk of having a BRCA gene change.2

http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/kb/content/medicaltest/tu6462.html

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sat, 05-18-2013 - 12:59pm

Good info to know - thanks!

I am in Canada, and I already asked for the test and my doctor recommended me. It seems I had to be approved - it would be completely covered here, I would not have to pay.

But I was turned down as not eligible for the program. My doctor said he would hate to see the person who is eligible, if I am not.

I would love it if it would stop with me - I have made my peace with it, but for my children, it would break my heart!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Sat, 05-18-2013 - 12:34pm

>So do I have the gene? Probably... but I am not eligible to get tested. (!?

In the U.S. (I do not know if you are in another country). there is no eligibilty to get tested but payment for the test can be an issue.  What we have been told at the oncology clinic and has been backed by our experice is that insurance will pay for the testing of anyone who has breast cancer and any 1st line relalative of them (parent, child, sibling). 

It does not matter how many in your family has cancer your changes of having the gene is still only 50%. It can only come from a parent, it does not skip generations.  Since DH has the gene all of our DDs had a 50% chance of having it.  Since DD1 and DD2  have it any children they may have have that same 50% chance.   If DD3 turns up posivite for the gene then her children have the same 50% chance but if she turns up negative then it stops with her in her line. 

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sat, 05-18-2013 - 10:54am

My mother died of breast cancer in March of this year. She also had liver, brain, bone and skin cancer.

My aunt (her sister) died of breast cancer two years ago. My other aunt (her sister) died of pancreatic cancer several years ago. My remaining aunt (her sister) is currently dying of breast cancer, not sure how much longer she has. She had ovarian/uterine cancer when she in her 40's.

Several of my cousins (my aunts' children) have found lumps in their breasts, including a male cousin who died of breast cancer at 21 years old. My niece had ovarian cancer at 21. My sister had thyroid cancer. My cousin has leukemia. My grandfather (mom's dad) died of lung cancer. I've had a couple of pre-cancerous scares myself...

So do I have the gene? Probably... but I am not eligible to get tested. (!?!)

But no, I would not get a preventive mastectomy. Cancer is not a disease you just "get" like being randomly struck by lightning. It's something you must manage/prevent day by day, meal by meal, through lifestyle choices...

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