According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 Women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
Angelina Jolie recently wrote an astonishing piece for the New York Times entitled "My Medical Choice" about her brave decision to undergo a double mastectomy as a preemptive strike against breast cancer, saying she did it partly because she watched her mom at the early age of 56 lose her battle with the disease. Choosing not to keep her ordeal private, Jolie stated openly she doesn’t want to leave her own children without their mom.
Jolie goes on to write: "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." Having been tested for the so-called "faulty" BRCA 1 mutation gene revealed she had a high likelihood of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Health campaigners praised her decision to go public with the news, which she said was prompted by a desire to encourage other women to get gene-tested and to raise awareness of the options available to those at risk.
[Public service announcement pink coaster design for LSU Health Sciences Center & Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center who partnered to launch SurviveDAT online resource for young breast cancer patients & caregivers. SurviveDAT is a place where young breast cancer patients can gain access to local support groups, health info and more - all tailored to their specific needs.]
Dr Richard Francis, head of research at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said that faults in the BRCA1 gene, which on average put women at a 65% risk of developing breast cancer, were rare and in most cases were linked to family history. Dr. Francis goes on to caution that a mastectomy would not necessarily be the appropriate treatment for everyone with the gene. "For women like Angelina it's important that they are made fully aware of all the options that are available, including risk-reducing surgery and extra breast screening." he goes on to say, "Though Angelina decided that a preventative mastectomy was the right choice for her, this may not be the case for another woman in a similar situation. We urge anyone who is worried about their risk of breast cancer to talk it through with their doctor."
Huge amount of respect for Angelina Jolie and others for going public on this delicate subject and having the courage to have it done. Other hi-profile celebs going public are Sharon Osbourne, who disclosed only last year that she had had both her breasts removed after genetic tests revealed that she too had inherited one of the genes. Now even more recently CNN anchor Zoraida Sambolin revealing that she is electing to have a double mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis, informing CNN "AC360" host Anderson Cooper that it was a matter of "when, not if."
Other notable celebs that have undergone mastectomy procedures include:
- Anne Jillian
- Olivia Newton-John
- Christina Applegate
- Wanda Sykes
- Kathy Bates
- Shirley Temple Black
- Nancy Reagan
- Betty Ford
- Lynn Redgrave
- Erma Bombeck
- Judy Blume
…just to name a few.
Men too have had mastectomies.
Talk show host Montel Williams had a bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction. Richard Roundtree, actor and model who starred in Shaft, had breast cancer and a mastectomy. Peter Criss, drummer of the rock band KISS is a breast cancer survivor. American politician Edward Brooke and Judge Tucker L. Melancon are also survivors raising awareness of the disease amongst men.
The Coaster Factory have printed custom coasters for a variety of cancer campaigns including the upcoming "Bikers Battling Breast Cancer".
For more information, please contact Bikers Battling Breast Cancer, Inc. at email@example.com.
Learn more about breast cancer types, early detection, myths and facts by visiting the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
blog posts written by Alex Zafer