According to the scientists, the women who have a faulty BRCA 1 or 2 gene have higher chances of developing breast or ovarian cancer. Many women of this risk group, including celebrities, like Angelina Jolie, prefer to have a surgery even before the disease develops.
Studies of the Field
Although this is a fairly common phenomenon, there are only a few studies conducted in this field. One of them studied 691 women who have been proven to have genetic predisposition to cancer. This study has been dedicated to the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.
About a third of these women chose to have preventive surgery. Their outcomes have been compared to the outcomes of their counterparts who didn’t have surgery. The specialists say that it looks like the preventive surgeries involving the removal of the ovaries and of the fallopian tubes can reduce the chances of cancer by 50%.
The study has found that the women who had any kind of preventive surgery had increased chances of survival compared to the women who didn’t take any measures. The life expectancy of the women who had surgery was close to normal, while the life expectancy of the other women was greatly reduced.
Some women believe that since the MRI technology is so advanced, there is no need for them to have preventive surgeries. Although it is true that in some cases an MRI can find the cancer even before it develops, the truth is that women could be dying even without them having a clue that there is something wrong with them.
The Effects of Celebrities’ Actions
Since Angelina announced her intentions, the women thinking about preventive surgery has increased by 300%. This means that the celebrity managed to raise public awareness regarding the problem. At the moment it is believed that in order to avoid breast cancer in case of women with a family history of this disease, is to have their ovaries removed.
The health care specialists suggest all women who have known risk factors being tested. If they are found to carry the faulty gene, they ought to consider having the surgery because this procedure can turn out to be a life-saving one. Nonetheless, it is important for women to consider both the pros and cons of surgery and make an educated decision based only on true medical facts.