I've been a big fan of the evolution of Angelina Jolie through the years and an admirer of her accomplishments. For all the good she's done in the world by means of her celebrity, it's through her most private of struggles that she's become the unintended face of the Biotech Industry, Big Pharma and Prophylactic mastectomy and oophorectomy (removing healthy breast and reproductive organs to avoid cancer.)
Angelina's intention has always been to serve others. With that in mind, I hold no judgements. However, it is because of her very public preventative choices that that intention may have backfired. Angelina has positioned herself against nature and true health, and it is there that we respectfully remain divided.
Because of Angelina's celebrity and bold undertaking, she may have unintendedly given rise to a new trend: Cancerphobia. Many may now feel inclined to get scanned, genetically tested, MRI'd and voluntarily shell out their breasts and reproductive organs in the name of "health" thinking they're dodging cancer. Instead they'll become enslaved to Big Pharma having their hormones synthetically regulated with HRT (hormone replacement therapy)--a known cause of breast cancer.
For all the confidence Angelina exudes, it's obvious she wasn't confident enough to depend on her own body's ability to resist disease. Like many faced with the fear of cancer, she opted for statistics --a 90% chance of being cancer-free for breast removal and 85% percent chance of being cancer free for ovary removal. Conceivably, those stats leave her with a 25% risk of getting cancer.
Would you get on a plane if it had 25% chance of crashing?
Angelina's not the only one insecure about her health. Most Americans believe more in the power of doctors and medicine than they do in their own body's ability to heal and resist disease. Although that's unfortunate, it's their god--given right. However, what I don't understand is lack of trust in natural prevention. Cancer is made by nature and nature is its only true prevention--nothing else. Angelina had the means and the privilege to consult with some pretty well respected, educated and esteemed medical practitioners so why didn't her team inform her of natural alternatives? Is removing the breasts and the reproductive organs the only option for a woman who doesn't have cancer? Here is a healthy, vibrant woman, cancer-free and young. Cancer wasn't knocking at her door. She had the time to live a life conducive to natural prevention--why not be given that option?
And the truth may well be that Angelina was given that option -- who knows. But, I'd be willing to bet that if Angelina was as confident in her body's ability to resist disease, as she was about Brad Pitt being "the one", she wouldn't be sitting in recovery right now dealing with a brutal onset of medically induced menopause symptoms and a prescription of HRT. My guess is she'd be out somewhere enjoying life sipping her thrice-daily organic, vegetable smoothie. That's not a bad deal.
Had Angelina consulted with a holistic professional--one that focuses on the body's ability to heal and resist disease, she may have been empowered by natural truths--that her body, like any healthy body, could prevent cancer despite her genetic vulnerability, given the proper conditions care and education.
Is it a sign of bravery going through several rounds of surgery? You bet it is. But real courage lies in knowing and appreciating what you've got--a self-healing body that goes to battle for you everyday to maintain your health, even if it's BRCA positive. Real courage is having faith that your healthy, self-regulating, self-healing body is strong and able to resist disease because you have set the conditions for it to do so -- It is properly fed, it is active, it is unstressed and it gets adequate sunshine and rest. Starting from that place of health and maintaining it daily is where courage lies. Instead of seeing her own body as strong, it appears Angelina assumed her body would fail her because her mother's body failed and because her doctors said so.
Angelina has now gone from being perfectly healthy to being medicinally dependent, having to manage the discomforts and side effects of hormone imbalances and surgically induced menopause. Where's the health in that? There's no strong evidence that any of these options actually reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer.
According to the professionals at the Mayo Clinic, "Surgically removing organs to prevent cancer (Prophylactic oophorectomy) doesn't completely eliminate your risk of breast cancer or ovarian cancer. A type of cancer that looks and acts identical to ovarian cancer can develop after the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed. The risk of this cancer, called primary peritoneal cancer, is lower than the lifetime risk of ovarian cancer if the ovaries remain intact."
It's important to understand that being BRCA positive is not an immediate death sentence and it's not an assurance that one will develop cancer. It is however a sure sign that to remain 100% cancer free, a person's mode of living needs to change and drastically improve--forever.
Angelina Jolie is now embraced and hailed by a medical industry that benefits from her celebrity--they get free PR from the megastar to continue shelling-out healthy women because of an unlucky roll of the genetic dice. Many will now only see surgery as the logical alternative because of Angelina's choices. Had Angelina consulted with a qualified holistic practitioner, she may have had the bold confidence to set the conditions for her own good health--instead of breeding and unintentionally funding the business of Cancerphobia, but what's done is done.
For now, Angelina is at the mercy of her medical team, her hormone therapy, and her own body's adaptation to her "new reality." Many others who've had these procedures done because they've actually had cancer and for them, it was truly a last resort, know full well that Angelina will recover and adapt, and all things considered, she'll be ok. For the rest of us, who believe in health and the body's ability to prevent cancer and heal itself-- we go forward seeing Angelina Jolie in the starring role of Girl Medically Interrupted.