Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Golly, I end up talking about boobs quite often, don't I?

One of those "Mate, you are clearly having a giraffe" moments...

I read this...

Now Angelina Jolie is a bit of a divisive figure for some people, but not for me. She is an incredible advocate for victims of sexual violence in Africa for the UN and truly does use her fame to the benefit of the disenfranchised. She also seems pretty determined to dance to the beat of her own drum.

I like that in a person.

Her openness about her decision to have a double mastectomy is brilliant. My ghast is also truly flabbered that she worked through all this without a word to anybody.

What irks me are comments like this one...

love to Angelina, but if the cure to breast cancer is that woman have to get their breasts removed before they get cancer, we are in trouble

Where do I start?

An individual woman with a "highly-unlikely-to-not-be-life-threatening" gene mutation decides to have a radical procedure that will (unless she's hit by a bus mid op...) improve her life expectancy. The writers' assumption with this statement is that we're all going to start cutting our norks off willy-nilly because we're frightened of getting cancer. An 87% risk of developing breast cancer is a pretty compelling  reason to have a mastectomy.

(See also "Why do women have preventative surgery?" - I'm looking at you, HuffPo).

The wimmins are not a homogenous mass, solely defined by hair colour, "hotness" and breast size. Please get this into your pathetic noggin.

There is nothing whimsical about making the decision to have a double mastectomy.  The BRCA gene test was only made more widely available in the last 7 or 8 years, and this discovery offers a real life line to families whose mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers and aunts have died at far too young an age, or lived under the threat of a early painful death. Good treatments for diseases don't exactly fall fully formed from the sky. I once knew someone who had a full mastectomy and reconstruction aged 21, after being diagnosed with breast cancer. I think she'd rather have been on the lash, don't you?

I mean, what can be more selfish that not wanting your family (and children if you have them) to see you dying slowly and far too soon? And not living in fear that one day you're going to find a lump when you're idly showering? Having to tell your kid that, you're very sick, or that you are going to die?

Personally, I'd take the op. The ladies aren't having the boobies cut off to upset you, capiche?

*Previous breasty ruminations can found here...

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