Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Yesterday, Angelina Jolie Pitt made headlines when she revealed her decision to surgically remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, due to an estimated 50% risk that she would develop ovarian cancer. The risk stems from a hereditary mutated gene, the BRCA1, which not only affected Jolie’s ovaries, but gave her an 87% chance of developing breast cancer as well (before her double mastectomy in 2013).
We sometimes forget that even celebrities face challenges which can make them feel lost and without control, but the emotional effects of cancer are universal. People say cancer doesn’t discriminate, but that’s not true; cancer is an unfair disease which affects the population unequally, and the sad truth is that some of us are more at risk for certain cancers based on our genetic backgrounds than others. But just because you carry a gene doesn’t mean that you don’t have options.