Prophylactic Mastectomy: Angelina, Sharon and Me

Angelina Dunthor

Angelina as Lara Croft

I was engrossed in making a presentation on the Part of Fortune for class this morning and completely missed Angelina Jolie’s announcement that she had had a prophylactic mastectomy until it was brought to my attention by a friend who asked if she could use a quote from me in light of it!

Once I looked the article up, I was thrilled that she had gone ahead with the surgery since I had thought about it back when she’d lost her mother to Ovarian Cancer, a related cancer. What shocked me was reading so many negative comments from people who don’t understand the context of a decision like hers. Sharon Osbourne received the same negative feedback when she made the same decision last year and it just amazes me how cruel and shallow people can be. I guess they are just proof that some people never really make it out of middle-school.

Their situations point up some differences between 1993, when I had my surgery, and 2013. In 1993, the BRCA gene test was new and no one was quite sure what percentage of cases it would account for, so I didn’t even have the test. We mostly discussed family medical histories. I had a traditional mastectomy which removed all breast tissue, leaving large scars. Reconstruction at a later time was offered but I preferred to stick with external prostheses and to cover the scars with tattoos. Angelina chose a skin sparing, immediate reconstruction option which she says left her with only small scars. Her cancer risk is slightly higher than mine but I am sure her results are more aesthetic than mine were pre-ink. Sharon had implants removed and I don’t know if she’s replaced them or not.

I’ll discuss why prophylaxis IS a reasonable way of dealing with cancer in another post, K?

Here is a link to Jolie’s New York Times piece.

And a link to Sharon Osbourne.

Amoena makes external breast prostheses.

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5 Comments on “Prophylactic Mastectomy: Angelina, Sharon and Me”

  1. Thank you for letting me use your picture and quote. I love the photo and it has inspired some lovely comments.

    http://www.facebook.com/barereality

    • Inga says:

      Thank you for calling the story to my attention! I am glad that is making more women conscious of this as an option. It isn’t the right choice for very many but it certainly is appropriate for some.

  2. Judy Boyer says:

    You are the best!🌹

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Inga says:

      Awww, Thank you, Aunt Judy. I was just reading an article about how much self hate someone must have to want to do this to themselves and how it should be a doctor’s responsibility to talk them out of it, and how it could only be done in a profit based system like ours and blah, blah, and there you were, right on time. With a little flower even! >^..^<

  3. […] Prophylactic Mastectomy: Angelina, Sharon and Me → […]


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