Angelina Jolie’s mastectomy shocks and enlightens

Angelina Jolie mastectomyAngelina Jolie has again done something which has made people go ‘Oh My God’ about her. And this time around, it’s not about her leg but the double mastectomy she went through. And when she opened her heart about her experience and how she made a conscious decision to break free of the potential breast cancer danger, it shook and enlightened hearts.

It’s phenomenal who this lady has come along from being the wild girl with tattoos to a woman of substance who wants to change the world.  Here’s all that you want to know about what Angelina did and why and how you could help yourself from breast cancer.

Jolie shared the story of her mother dying of cancer at 56. She said that she too carries a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases the risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Jolie sais, “My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.”

It is this risk that made her decide to be proactive and to minimize the risk. She made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy.

“On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work. My own process began on Feb. 2. Two weeks later I had the major surgery, where the breast tissue is removed and temporary fillers are put in place. The operation can take eight hours. You wake up with drain tubes and expanders in your breasts. It does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film. But days after surgery you can be back to a normal life.

Nine weeks later, the final surgery is completed with the reconstruction of the breasts with an implant. There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful,” said Jolie.

This story of hers has send across a strong message. In a world where society constantly judges people on how they look, it was humbling and made women hope that if ever faced with a similar decision, they would be strong enough to make the right choice.

What is mastectomy?

mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely. Mastectomy is usually done to treat breast cancer; in some cases, women and some men believed to be at high risk of breast cancer have the operation prophylactically, that is, to prevent cancer rather than treat it. It is also the medical procedure carried out to remove breast cancer tissue in males.

Why should one go for mastectomy?

A double mastectomy reduces a mutation-carrier’s risk by about 90 percent to a level lower than that of women who don’t carry the genetic flaw. But it but can never eliminate the danger entirely.

Mostly women with breast cancer go in for plastic surgery. A breast implant is a medical prosthesis used to augment, reconstruct, or create the physical form of breasts. Previously doctors used to shape new breasts by taking fat from a patient`s stomach, upper back, buttock or thigh, but now the procedure has been made safer and more comfortable.

Surgery is often combined with other treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and/or monoclonal antibody therapy.

Let’s close with Angelina’s word again, “Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”

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