'My Medical Choice'
written by Angelina Jolie.
Published in The NY Times
on May 14th 2013.
"MY MOTHER fought cancer for almost a decade
and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the
first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her
arms. But my other children will never have the chance
to know her and experience how loving and gracious she
We often speak of “Mommy’s mommy,” and I find myself
trying to explain the illness that took her away from
us. They have asked if the same could happen to me. I
have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I
carry a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which sharply
increases my risk of developing breast cancer and
My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of
breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer,
although the risk is different in the case of each
a fraction of breast cancers result from an
inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a
65 percent risk of getting it, on average. Once I knew
that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive
and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a
decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I
started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer
is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the
surgery is more complex.
On April 27, I finished the three months of medical
procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that
time I have been able to keep this private and to
carry on with my work. But I am writing about it now
because I hope that other women can benefit from my
experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear
into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of
powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out
through a blood test whether you are highly
susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then
My own process began on Feb. 2 with a procedure known
as a “nipple delay,” which rules out disease in the
breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood
flow to the area. This causes some pain and a lot of
bruising, but it increases the chance of saving the
Two weeks later I had the major surgery, where the
breast tissue is removed and temporary fillers are put
in place. The operation can take eight hours. You wake
up with drain tubes and expanders in your breasts. It
does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film.
But days after surgery you can be back to a normal
Nine weeks later, the final surgery is completed with
the reconstruction of the breasts with an implant.
There have been many advances in this procedure in the
last few years, and the results can be beautiful.
I wanted to write this to tell other women that the
decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is
one I am very happy that I made. My chances of
developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent
to under 5 percent. I can tell my children
that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to
It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them
uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s
it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she
always was. And they know that I love them and will do
anything to be with them as long as I can. On a
personal note, 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.
I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so
loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or
girlfriend going through this, know that you are a
very important part of the transition. Brad was at the
Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for
every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find
moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right
thing to do for our family and that it would bring us
closer. And it has.
For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to
know you have options. I want to encourage every
woman, especially if you have a family history of
breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information
and medical experts who can help you through this
aspect of your life, and to make your own informed
I acknowledge that there are many wonderful holistic
doctors working on alternatives to surgery. My own
regimen will be posted in due course on the Web site
of the Pink Lotus Breast Center. I hope that this will
be helpful to other women.
Breast cancer alone kills some 458,000 people each
year, according to the World Health Organization,
mainly in low- and middle-income countries. It has got
to be a priority to ensure that more women can access
gene testing and lifesaving preventive treatment,
whatever their means and background, wherever they
live. The cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2, at more
than $3,000 in the United States, remains an obstacle
for many women.
I choose not to keep my story private because there
are many women who do not know that they might be
living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that
they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that
if they have a high risk they, too, will know that
they have strong options.
Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should
not scare us are the ones we can take on and take
Angelina Jolie is an actress and director.
Bravo to Angelina, who
made 100% the right choice for herself and her
beautiful family. However ... her body, her
genetics, her future ...
they are not yours.
- the Reality of Her Choice:
1) Promoting fear of breast cancer and offering
a 'brave' choice to cut off healthy breasts, is an
unnecessary choice for the majority of women, which
serves only to benefit certain corporate profits and
patent monopoly, to the tune of trillions of dollars -
Myriad Genetics to be specific, based in Salt Lake
2) "Jolie claims
her doctor told her she has an "87% risk" of
developing breast cancer. But what she didn't tell you
is that this number doesn't apply to the entire
population: it's actually old data derived
almost exclusively from families that were previously
documented to have very high risks of breast cancer to
begin with. In a large room of 600 women, only ONE
will likely have a BRCA mutation in her genetic code.
The actual incidence is 0.125 to 0.25 out of 100
women, or 1 in 400 to 1 in 800." - Mike Adams,
Cancer tumors are
SYMPTOMS and not the CAUSE of cancer.
The cancer industry does not care. They want you to
spend 3-4 thousand dollars for a BRCA 1 test. If the
test is positive, they want you to have a "heroic"
double mastectomy, just like sex symbol Angelina
Jolie, afterall, if she can do it, so can you.
The cancer industry wants you to have a mammogram
every year, which emits ionizing radiation directly
into the breast and heart tissues, CAUSING cancer. If
you develop tumors, they want you to have chemo and
radiation, which causes cancer to proliferate as well
as further destroy the immune system, fog the mind,
and cause permanent damage to body organs.
THEY DO NOT WANT YOU TO BE HEALTHY AND CANCER FREE.
THEY REFUSE TO FIND AND ADDRESS THE CAUSE. THEY REFUSE
TO OFFER PREVENTION OPTIONS. THEY REFUSE TO OFFER
NATURAL CANCER CURES. THEY REFUSE TO ADDRESS DIET.
PROFIT FROM DISEASE IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS.
YOU ARE A CUSTOMER, TAKE A NUMBER!
QUESTION: If a
man has an alleged high risk factor for prostate
cancer, or contracts prostate cancer, does this mean
he needs to cut off his testicles?
Do you have a risk of kidney cancer? Remove your
kidneys. A risk of colon cancer? Remove your colon.
Lung cancer maybe? Remove your lungs. How about brain
cancer? Remove your brain ... just in case.
If you allow fear to
control you, the corrupt medical and pharmaceutical
corporations will get exactly what they want. At
the end of the day, the choice is yours. EDUCATE
YOURSELF AND WAKE UP.
Swiss could be first to drop
- June 2014
Is it the beginning of the end for mammography, the
screening technology for breast cancer? The Swiss
could be the first to drop it after independent
research revealed that the risks outweighed any
benefits - and that earlier research, which had
provided the evidence to launch national screening
programs in most Western nations, had been falsified.
Researchers from the Swiss Medical Board, an
independent health research group, first reported on
mammography’s shortcomings last February, and one
Swiss canton, Uri, is now reconsidering a move to
introduce it for routine screening.
Others may follow, and two of the board’s researchers
have spoken out this week because they say it is
ethical to do so. “It is easy to promote mammography
screening if the majority of women believe that it
prevents or reduces the risk of getting breast cancer
and saves many lives through early detection of
aggressive tumours. We would be in favour of
mammography screening if these beliefs were valid.
Unfortunately, they are not, and we believe that women
need to be told so. From an ethical perspective, a
public health program that does not clearly produce
more benefits than harms is hard to justify. Providing
clear, unbiased information, promoting appropriate
care and preventing over-diagnosis and over-treatment
would be a better choice,” say Nikola Biller-Andorno
and Peter Juni this week.
In their earlier report, the researchers discovered
that nearly 22% of ‘cancers’ that mammography was
detecting were false (false-positives). Despite the false reading, many
of the women went through arduous cancer
treatment, including chemotherapy and even
mastectomies, or breast removal.
Early research, including a 50-year-old paper,
suggested that screening would save 80 lives per 1,000
women screened. However, the Swiss research found that
just one life would be saved by mammography.
Source: New England
Journal of Medicine, 2014; doi:
10.1056/NEJMp1401875) and wddty.com
There is an alternative option to mammograms, it's
called Thermography - radiation free, safer
and more accurate. Available
since the 1960's, cost is about $150-$200.
Infrared imaging "is based on detecting the heat
produced by increased blood vessel circulation and
metabolic changes associated with a tumor’s genesis
and growth. By detecting minute variations in normal
blood vessel activity, infrared imaging may find
thermal signs suggesting a pre-cancerous state of the
breast or the presence an early tumor that is not yet
large enough to be detected by 'conventional