Jolie's bold move sparks discussion of the C-word

  • Article by: Allie Shah , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 17, 2013 - 2:04 PM

The Hollywood icon’s disclosure about her cancer worries fuels discussion, but raises concerns about overestimating the risks.

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Diogenes9May. 18, 13 4:13 PM

The sad thing is that the data is suggestive of a link, but solid to the point of self-mutilation? That is questionable, and maybe not courageous. Remember that the body produces probably millions of cancerous cells every day, as the body is made up of 100 trillion cells. In almost all people, these cells are destroyed by special white blood cells called Killer T-cells. So it is not like the the gene set makes a cancer that is sure to kill you- there are LOTS of steps in the process for an aberrant cell to take hold and start a "nest" of cancerous cells that can overwhelm the immune system. I am not a specialist, but a targeted protocol of intermittent low-level chemotherapy might be preferable to double mastectomy. In a program like this, Jolie could be a pioneer.

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aviendhaMay. 18, 13 5:57 PM

Why wait for cancer to take hold when you can prevent it? I think it's pretty f-ing arrogant to call someone's lifesaving procedure "self-mutilation". That's exactly the attitude that keeps women from going to the doctor: because people value their breasts more than their lives.

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gemie1May. 19, 13 2:47 AM

A good friend of the family had one breast removed because of cancer. She begged them to take the other just in case cancer developed in her healthy breast. Her medical team said no, that there was nothing to worry about. She is now battling stage 4 cancer in that breast and her prognosis does not look good. Women are experts on their own bodies and have a RIGHT to make these very difficult life and death decisions. I do not have the gene or a family history of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer in my family. My choice here is to have a yearly check up with my gynecologist and a mammogram. If the statistics were higher in my case that I would have cancer, then I would probably take preventive action.

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irvine93May. 19, 13 1:43 PM

Diogenes9: yes, cancerous cells are produced continuously, but having the BRCA mutations is so closely associated with aggressive forms of breasts and ovarian cancers that your comments are so flippant that one has to wonder whether you know what you are talking about. Would you have similar comments about smoking?

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irvine93May. 19, 13 1:47 PM

"Hysteria," Dr. Tuttle? When one of every 9 American women will develop breast cancer? I do hope that you do not follow the old methods of treating a woman's "hysteria" by performing hysterectomy.

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nonau55May. 19, 13 3:30 PM

Gee I might break my leg one day, so guess I had better cut it off now! Or better yet, I will die someday, so why not kill myself now and save a lot of time and money?

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