Post # 62
Yep, the brca gene mutation runs in SO’s family (fortunately his mom doesn’t have it so he likely doesn’t have it either- it increases risk of various cancers in men too) and one aunt has had a double mastectomy and hysterectomy. If I were in that situation, I would absolutely consider it as well.
Post # 63
The risks would have to be seriously high for me to consider it (like, in the 80-90% range). I would want the reconstructive surgery done, though.
Post # 64
@moriah: I worry a little that this could turn into something that a woman in that situation feels she must do to be “brave” and “strong.” There’s more to the issue, in my opinion, than just vanity. It’s a very personal choice.
I certainly see your point, and I would never want someone in that situation to feel as if she has to choose the surgery (or else people will judge her as too prideful or too weak). And I agree with you 100% that this is a very personal and sensitive issue that can’t always be resolved by a neat and tidy solution. Hence…the last tag.
If I am being completely honest, it is much easier for me to say that I would follow through with the surgery since I am not in that position where it’s a “necessity.” This is likely one of those “you never truly know until” circumstances (but that’s how most of these difficult life decisions are for us).
Post # 65
@Scc6a: for some women, reconstructive surgery is not an option. But I also think that if she were to have no breasts, she could have been a huge role model and inspiration to those who do not have breasts either. Like, proof that you can still look fabulous.
I remember watching an episode of How To Look Good Naked about a women who had a masectomy and she didn’t feel like a woman anymore – and I just think how brilliant it would be to have a celebrity out there like Angie to say “hey ladies, you don’t need breasts to look sexy!”
Post # 66
Yes. If the statistics were that high like they were for her, yes I would. I think what she did was an amazing choice for herself and her children. Why would you risk (Yes, there is still a very small percent chance etc etc) being in the position where you kids have to lose you to cancer, when you can take a preventative measure such as this. I think it was very brave of her to share her story and like others have said, a huge sex symbol like her, to share her story, will hopefully give strength to others.
Post # 67
My mother, her mother, and my mom’s sister all had breast cancer. My mom and I were tested, and we do not have either brca gene. However, my chance of developing breast cancer is 35%, so after I have kids and breastfeed, I will have a double masectomy. Also, for any military or military dependents, tricare covers the masectomy and reconstruction if you have the gene. When I was screened thats what I was told.
Post # 68
If I have 87% risk. I would go for it!
It’s better prevented than to be diagnosed.
Post # 69
I have distant family members that are breast cancer survivors. They luckily found out early enough. I’ve lost a few (older) friends to breast cancer and know it’s one of those cancers that not only take away your diginity but your womanhood. I learned a lot from those women during their treatments.
I actually thought about doing this years ago (if I found my risk to be high) b/c I’ve seen too many women suffer through breast cancer. But I hate to sound vain, I’d definitely replace them with implants. And I personally wouldn’t care if anyone thought any less of me for having them!
Post # 70
@Miss Jackrabbit: I get where you’re coming from, but at the same time I don’t really think it’s her responsibility to be that kind of role model. If she can afford the surgery and it makes her feel better about herself, why should she turn herself into a martyr because others can’t afford it or get it for whatever reason? If she felt confident without breasts, that would be great, but I don’t begrudge her the surgery if she wants it. I know I would!
Post # 71
@MissCalifornia: +1. If my situation was the same as hers (and hers was a rare one), then I would make the same decision. I wouldn’t want to live with cancer and how harsh the treatment is. I am a huge fan of my breasts and so is my Fiance. But we are both bigger fans of my life.
Post # 72
@Scc6a: No I totally get it and wouldn’t expect her to do something she didn’t want to do just because she’s a celebrity. I just wish she had wanted to choose not to have reconstructive surgery because I think it would have been good to have someone with her status do something like that.
Post # 73
Abso-frickin-lutely. Especially with odds that high. I would definitely have implants to replace them so they would look as close to my natural breasts as possible, though.
Post # 74
My cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 41 and even though she was BRCA negative, had a double masectomy, since the chance of recurrence when you’re younger is also high. It’s federal law that insurance carriers have to cover reconstruction in these circumstances.
I’d do the masectomy, but I’m not sure about implants, since they are installed in-between your pectoral muscles and rib cage. Perhaps that would seem less gruesome if it were happening to me.
Genetic testing is great, but seems like a double-edged sword since I’d worry about a known genetic condition being ruled as a “preexisting condition” with all the exemptions for coverage implied by that term. It’s prohibiitively expensive when not covered, and that’s why I think it’s great Jolie went public with her story.
Still, women getting a positive test and finding out they’re BRCA positive happens every day. There are women at my office who have made the same choice as Angelina Jolie. One in eight of us on this board is going to get breast cancer; when I was 20 that statistic was one in ten.
Post # 75
I’m not in any position to judge someone for getting reconstructive surgery after a double mastectomy. I don’t think this would even be up for discussion if it were any other body part. Why not look as like your old self as possible?
As for what I would do, if I were in Angie’s shoes I think I’d have done the same. She has an unusually high risk.
Post # 76
@AB Bride: +1
random but if a guy had a gene with a high probability that he’d get cancer of the balls, do you think he’d lop them off ahead of time?