Life before boobs

This reader thinks Angelina Jolie’s preventative measures should be celebrated.

We all got a big shock after hearing the news that Angelina Jolie had undergone a double mastectomy earlier this year.

I take my hat off to her for being brave enough to not only take control of a life threatening situation, but also share her experience with the world.

I have to admit that I don’t know if I would have been woman enough to do either of those two things.

Both my grandparents on my father’s side died of cancer. My father has been living with lymphoma since I was 10 years old. My mother has had a lumpectomy done on both her breasts. Obviously cancer runs in the family.

I have not exactly helped the situation in terms of being careful and avoiding things that might lead to cancer. I have been a social smoker for the past 10 years and regularly drink more than my daily allowance of alcohol. The only thing I can pat myself on the back for is giving up processed foods and trying to at least eat healthily.

With all this in mind, I don’t know if I would have the guts to get myself tested. I think this is perhaps the one circumstance where the unknown is less scary than the facts. And yes, I know, it is a completely irrational fear, because it does make sense to rather know and handle the situation than to live in a state of blissful ignorance.

The really terrifying bit, however, is making a decision about whether to keep your breasts or have them removed. Looking down at mine now I can only imagine how traumatising it must be to be faced with such a choice.

My breasts may not be the biggest in the world, but they’re mine. The two little handfuls of boob I have been blessed with have been with me through so much I can’t imagine having them replaced with silicone implants.

One thing I would remind myself about in such a situation is that a life is more valuable than a set of breasts. If it did become necessary for me to decide between saving my life and keeping my breasts, I would choose to forsake them.

Angelina Jolie deserves a standing ovation for sharing what she’s been through. She not only brought a very important matter to our attention, but also provided us with the perfect role model for when we find ourselves in her shoes.

Follow women24 on Twitter and Facebook.



50 breast cancer facts

2008-05-28 08:55

Read Women24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.