Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Angelina Jolie, BRCA and Saving Lives

Angelina Jolie did an amazing thing...she took control of her life. She made the decision to live. Like thousands and thousands of women, she has joined the ranks of the Survivors and Previvors to empower themselves by using the knowledge of their BRCA mutation status and today's surgical technology. 
Unlike my father who passed away from breast cancer, I took those life saving steps as well. He passed the genetic mutation to me. I tested in 1996 and was found positive for carrying it. That means I have approximately 85-90% lifetime risk of breast cancer and 50% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer. 
Whether you applaud Jolie's actions or berate her for them, it is essential for the BRCA population to know their options and to reach the millions out there who still need to know. I had the same surgeries in 2002 and 2007. The latter's pathology showed DCIS stage 0, the beginnings of breast cancer. 
I paraphrase my friend Olga Guzman Flores's aunt who put it succinctly, "If you knew the plane you were taking had a 50% risk of crashing would you still board?". 
The following YouTube videos feature Olga singing at a JoiningFORCEs Annual Conference, my friend Anne Parker, the inspiration for the film "Decoding Annie Parker", who speaks about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and the third, another friend, film maker Joanna Rudnick and a clip of her documentary, "In the Family". 
Please watch, educate yourself and others and #ShareandSaveaLife.

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