I have a very good friend who is currently going through Chemotherapy as a result of Breast Cancer. This is a really scary thing for both her and all who know her and it has had me thinking about the things I sometimes take for granted in this life and how transitory it can be. Then this week there has been the furor over Angelina Jolie and her decision to get a preemptive double mastectomy and now it seems everyone is talking about Cancer.
I won’t go over all the details here as it has been widely reported however if you want information you can go to this link which explains the procedure in some detail.
What has been clear is that this has been a polarising story and many have debated both the merits of her decision but also the relativity that she has all the financial wherewithal to do the testing, surgery, supported recovery and long road to recovery which is beyond most people. No matter what your views it has certainly raised awareness with people now able to quote information about the defective BRCA1 gene and the associated risks.
In the days following I had the opportunity to speak to a wide range of women to get their take on it. The responses were split into 3 different camps:
- The younger the person the more likely they were really in favour of it and felt they would do the same
- If the person had experienced Cancer in their family they were almost unanimous in feeling the same
- If the person was over 35 they were more likely to suggest caution before contemplating something so drastic
That being said all felt it was an amazing thing and were happy that more people were at least talking about Cancer and being aware of the need to always be vigilant just in case. The Cancer Council have a range of things they suggest to help with early detection and that is a significant step to surviving any type of Cancer.
I guess what is important is that if you feel you have major risk factors then you should get all the information you can and make whatever decisions are best for you.
It’s your life so take control and don’t just hope it won’t happen to you.