I have never been a big fan of Angelina Jolie. I don't really like her movies or her acting. I also don't always agree with her lifestyle choices, but they are hers to make. That being said, I admire her. I have always admired her work with refugees around the world and her heart for orphaned children. Yesterday I heard the news that made me respect her even more.
If you haven't heard, Angelina had a preventative double mastectomy. She chose to remove her breast tissue to reduce her chances of getting fatal breast and ovarian cancer. She has the "breast cancer" gene which means she has an 87% chance of getting cancer.
Not everyone with this gene will die from cancer but Angelina's mother did. Her mother died at the young age of 56 from ovarian cancer. Angelina did not want to leave her children motherless. She knows what it is like to lose her mother way too soon.
So why do I bring this up? I am frustrated with the people in the "natural" community that are critical of her decision to have a preventative mastectomy. They feel that there are plenty of other preventative measures out there such as changing her diet, eating a vegan diet, trying herbal remedies and waiting to see what happens.
I am going to go out on a limb and guess that none of these people have the "cancer gene" themselves and are probably not cancer survivors either. They can claim that they would take a natural approach if they had the gene but it is easy to say that when you aren't facing death's door.
I respect Angelina's decision. I can say that I would make the same choice in her shoes. I know that because I had breast cancer. I was diagnosed in May 2012.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I chose to be tested for the BRCA gene too. I am so thankful that my results came back negative. I do not have the gene. While waiting for my results I had to decide what I would do if the results came back positive. I knew that I would have the preventative mastectomy so that I had the best chance of survival. I am a mother too. I thought about my children. I understand how extremely difficult that decision must have been for Angelina.
The people that prefer the "natural" approach also criticize those of us that choose chemo and radiation treatments over a diet change and herbal remedies. Don't you think that with all of the money that Angelina has that she didn't thoroughly research every single option available? Don't you think that she had dozens of doctors and researchers looking for her best case scenario.
After hearing all of her options she chose to physically alter her body and remove her breast tissue. I give her credit for making the decision that she thought gave her the best chance of surviving this and being there for her children.
I think that no matter what "community" you side with, the natural or the medical, that you should show Angelina some compassion and not judge her choice. I think that she is brave and serves as a positive role model for other women that may face this choice.