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Angelina Jolie and Cancer

MP article here

She is being criticized for drawing too much attention to herself, and for all that stuff about talking to Eastern doctors and naturopaths, but I honestly think she is being brave and inspiring. I have posted on here several times over the past few months about my decision to get genetic testing due to a family history of cancer. Unlike Angelina Jolie, I tested negative for the gene mutation. I first found out that I didn't have the specific mutation that has been found in other family members, and then yesterday I received news that they finished the full testing of over a dozen different genes, with no cancer-associated mutations found.*

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But reading about her decisions made my decision to go in for screening a bit easier. And knowing that she chose to publicly talk about her decision to have a preventative bilateral mastectomy made that possibility feel a little less frightening to me. When I mentioned it as a possibility to my friends, I got a really negative reaction from one of them, but I knew that if it had the potential to reduce my risk of cancer and early death, it was something I couldn't automatically rule out.

It turns out that I won't need to make the hard decisions Angelina Jolie has had to make. Of course I could still get cancer of some kind, but without the genetic mutation present I won't be considering any prophylactic surgeries or extra screenings beyond the normal recommended ones. But before I had my results, when I was contemplating the possibility of a future with this risk hanging over my head all the time, Angelina Jolie's story gave me comfort.

*They did find one mutation that is considered a variant of unknown significance, but the Dr I was talking to on the phone said I could consider my cancer risk to be in line with the general female population and follow typical prevention and screening guidelines accordingly.

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