Benjamin Franklin

My mother-in-law sent me an article the other day that was published in the New York Times.  It was a more scientifically informative piece than what Angelina Jolie had written about preventative double mastectomies.  What she did was courageous and will, I believe, have a more positive than negative effect.  Yet, I agree with this recent article that her op-ed made the surgical process seem like a walk in the park, at least compared to how it was for me.  Maybe she had a nanny for each child?  Maybe the skin sparing double mastectomy that she had really lends itself to an easier recovery?  Or maybe she just wanted to stay positive?  For herself, for her family or for the thousands of people who will now consider this course of action based on what she said?
This process has not been easy and it won’t be easy for anyone who is faced with a positive result from a BRCA test.  This is such an individualized experience in every aspect.  Each person’s reaction to their test result will vary.  The surgeons they choose, the insurance they carry, the support they have from loved ones all make it different.  To judge another person’s view of their own experience is unfair.  I have said before that I feel lucky to be going through this at 31, because I have the benefit of being young, in shape and in otherwise good health right now.  These factors likely make my recovery easier than someone else’s.  I imagine that Angelina was in even better shape than I was (did you see her stunts in Salt?  I think it’s pretty safe to say she could out bench me at the gym, no?).  So, maybe her recovery really was easy or maybe it was just easier than she thought it would be.
Angelina Jolie was obviously more interested in projecting an image of strength and positivity rather than one of being a victim of her circumstance.  Although, she may have (hopefully) inadvertently set some unrealistic expectations for women who want to now have the preventative double mastectomy, I commend her for what she’s done.  She’s opened the door for dialogue between patients and doctors and she could potential save the lives of unknowing, but at-risk BRCA positive individuals.  If early detection is key, then prevention is even better! As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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One thought on “Benjamin Franklin

  1. or as Miss Weezer from Steel Magnolias once said "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of manure" not really applicable here .. but funny none the less!

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