Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Angelina Jolie Undergoes a Double Mastectomy

Photo from RadioTimes.com
It's been years since I've blogged for Plastic Surgery Uncut. I worked for Dr. Walden as a premedical student in New York City, shadowing her and gaining clinical experience. Now, I'm a first-year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine (formerly Mount Sinai School of Medicine) in New York City, pursuing an MD/MPH degree.

I've been wanting to return to this blog for some time now as I always enjoy writing. Therefore, it is only appropriate that I  blog about my favorite celebrity and her recent medical endeavor.

Angelina Jolie, arguably one of the world's most beautiful women, recently underwent a preventive double mastectomy. After learning that she carries the BRCA1 gene, a gene linked to a significant increase in breast and ovarian cancer, she elected to have both breasts removed. In doing so she has reduced her chances of getting breast cancer to "under 5%" (though it varies for each individual).

Angelina Jolie underwent three different procedures. The first was called "nipple delay" which she describes in her NY Times Op-Ed piece, "rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area. This causes some pain and a lot of bruising, but it increases the chance of saving the nipple." She then underwent a second procedure to remove the breast tissue, and a final procedure to reconstruct her breasts through the use of an implant.

Two genes BRCA1 and BRCA 2 are associated with a risk for developing breast cancer. Many women who know they carry one or both of these genes undergo a preventive mastectomy. Angelina Jolie says, "I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity." 
Photo from JustJared.com

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