Sunday, 26 May 2013

Angelina Julie: “Like a Scene out of a Science-Fiction”

This is how the actress described the long process she has undergone starting February to remove both of her breasts' tissues in an article in The New York Times. In a down to earth style, Julie describes her motivation to undergo a double mastectomy: mainly, she wanted to empower her stance towards cancer and up her chances to live longer for her children. We have published a week ago a post on Angelina Julie's preventive double mastectomy due to her learning she carries the gene BRCA1 and therefore is at a higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Today we'd like to share some related points. First, the timing of Julie's announcement is crucial to an ongoing supreme court case with the company that has patented research on that specific gene (2). The biotech company, Myriad Genetics, "owns the patent to BRCA1 and another so-called isolated gene that carries similar risks called BRCA2 (3). The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling in the related case end of June (4). Interestingly, the case began in 2009 and following Julie's announcement, Myriad's stock has risen sharply (5).

Now as to us, women, what does all this gene "war" mean? We might not have a specific answer at this point but there are some points to keep in mind in this regards. Even if no woman in your family have/had breast cancer, you are still likely to develop breast cancer due to other (non-genetic) factors such as the surrounding environmental toxins that are increasingly present in our daily modern life. Those toxins tend to accumulate in breast tissue sometimes causing breast cancer at later stages (5).

Some of the things we can do to regain power over any causes, known or unknown to us, are usually harmless and cost-free simple steps. Here are some suggestions: "Eat whole, organic foods; Avoid environmental toxins, especially estrogen mimickers; Supplement smart; Avoid sugar; Stop smoking, drinking in excess, and charring your meats; Avoid hormone therapy; Know your alternatives for breast cancer screening; Reduce your stress. Increase your sleep; Exercise; Breastfeed" (Read more on these here). This is worth the try, isn't it? Consider the fact that, 458,000 people die of breast cancer every year according to the World Health organization, mainly in low and middle income countries---a fact quoted by Julie' herself in the New York Times article. Julie goes on emphasizing that the cost to test for the above mentioned genes is about $3,000 in the US and this is a big obstacle.

Other obstacles could be lack of support. Luckily, the actress was fortunate to have a supporting partner, Brad Pitt, and thus she advises all partners out there who have a loved one undergoing such hard choices to show their love all the way through. She states, " We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and it would bring us closer. And it has."

We'll leave you with Julie's final words in her article as they carry a message of hope: "For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices. Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of" (1).

Share your thoughts with us below. 
Good health to all of you!

1- The New York Times-Angelina Julie:
2 - The Atlantic: 
3- Business Insider:
4- Supreme Court of the United States Blog (SCOTUS Blog):
5 - Vancouver Observer:



  1. Life is a place of enjoyment. In this life who can gain something, he is the real hero or heroine. Only money cannot beget the happiness. A good family and immortal work can live a man from century to century. Angelina Jolie is not only an actress but also she is a great social hostess who is working for poor children. I want to thank her and the writer of this post who has posted this writing on behalf of Angelina. Angelina decided to remove her breast to avoid the risk of breast cancer. Her cancer type is negotiable percentage.

  2. True! Such wise words. Julie is also a humanitarian and activist. One cannot but admire the good work after all. Thanks for your comment.


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