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Jolie’s Announcement Of Double Mastectomy Opens Door For Dialogue

 

Angelina Jolie is widely recognized as an Hollywood A-lister and an activist mother of seven, photographed here on a trip to Ecuador for the UN Refugee Agency. But today, she became known for her decision to have a prophylactic double mastectomy. (Flikr/  AcnurLasAméricas)

Angelina Jolie is widely recognized as an Hollywood A-lister and an activist mother of seven, photographed here on a trip to Ecuador for the UN Refugee Agency. But today, she became known for her decision to have a prophylactic double mastectomy. (Flikr/ AcnurLasAméricas)

The Bruins may be the most talked about sports news in town today, but in the world of medicine and health, the most talked about news of the day, by far, is Angelina Jolie.

In today’s New York Times, Jolie revealed that she recently chose to have a double-mastectomy.

Jolie is 37. Her mother died of cancer at the age of 56, and Jolie revealed that she has tested positive for BRCA1, a gene linked to a dramatically higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

In order to reduce her risk, Jolie opted to have a double mastectomy, followed by breast reconstruction surgery. In her Times op-ed she writes, “I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

Guests

Carey Goldberg, co-host of WBUR’s CommonHealth site

Sharon Bober, PhD, founder and director of the Sexual Health Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

More

WBUR’s CommonHealth, “That this highly public figure offers such intimate details about her body and her breasts may be a sign that the taboos around cancer are dwindling.”

Facing Our Risk Of Cancer Empowered, “We are the only national non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.”


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  • donniethebrasco

    I’m just so tired of all of the Obama scandals.  I’m glad we can talk about Angelina Jolie’s breasts instead.

  • HadEnoughAlready

    I believe that getting tested for any gene mutations should be a very thoughtful process and should never be rushed into.  My sister had the test done and did not ask any of the siblings how we felt about genetic testing.  Remember, that by testing yourself you will also be effecting the lives of others, not just your own.  So, think and discuss before you have it done.  Now, whenever I see my primary care provider I have the same discussion over and over about the genetic testing, feeling pressure all the while even though I have told my doctor that genetic testing is not for me.  And try as you might, you cannot get down to 0% probability.   

    I cringe whenever I see someone like Angelina Jolie telling the world their story.  Many of us fail to remember that they are still a celebrity, not our friend, and they will never be completely truthful and tell everything.  Will she go into great detail about how they has to go through a great deal of therapies to deal with the scar tissue and regain full mobility in the shoulders?  Probably not.  Will she talk about how she is probably still scared that she will get breast cancer?  Probably not.  Now we wait for the hysterectomy story to come in the next few years.  Ugh!

Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

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