Did Angelina Jolie Cut Off Her Breasts for Nothing? What New Science Has to Say

When Angelina Jolie announced in the New York Times, in May of last year, that she’d undergone a radical mastectomy, she wrote, “Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.” Her bravery was widely applauded, and she became “the new, gorgeous poster woman” for the procedure, which she chose to have because, like her mother, who died at age 56 from cancer, she carries the BRCA1 gene that increases the risks of both ovarian and breast cancer. In the wake of her announcement came a rash of news stories about other women—some as young as 21—who’d opted for the surgery, along with tweets by breast cancer survivors calling Jolie “so brave” (Sheryl Crow) and “admirable,” among other accolades.

Now, belatedly, science is catching up to the publicity buzz.

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What Not to Say When Someone Tells You They Have Cancer

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Ardmore-based Breastcancer.org posed the following question to its Facebook fans yesterday: “What is the one thing you DO NOT want to hear when you tell someone you have cancer?”

Not surprisingly, the question got a ton of responses from cancer patients and survivors, who shared what resonated and jarred them when they told their friends, family members and coworkers that they’d been diagnosed with cancer. I thought we might all be able to learn a thing or two from their posts, so here is a selection of the most insightful responses. Click on the link above to see the full list.

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