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Reaction Paper 3: Angelina Jolie Pitt: Diary of a Surgery

The author of Diary of a Surgery, Angelina Jolie-Pitt, recollects her encounter with the surgeon who had performed mastectomy on her. Angelina points out that her only she had sought permission from the surgeon to publish her experience in the hope of helping other women who may be facing the same predicament as her. This article appeared in the New York Times. Initially, Jolie explains that she carried a gene that had mutated, and it was a causative agent for breast cancer. The gene is known as BRCA1. This gene dramatically increases her odds of getting ovarian and breast cancer.
From Jolie’s perspective, it is evident that the fact that she is a celebrity does not necessarily give her any special access to the genetic screening that she took. From the medical background of her family, her grandmother had ovarian cancer and recently her mother had died of breast cancer. For any insurance company, the family history of Jolie would surely meet the criteria to cover the genetic testing that Jolie undertook.
The procedure that Jolie undertook is called prophylactic mastectomy, and this procedure is known to reduce immensely the risk of a future breast cancer to almost zero. The other major decision that Jolie undertook was whether to get rid of her nipples or keep them. During this process, she decided to take a nipple delay whereby the issue was to first identify if there were any cancerous cells in her nipple. It was very fortunate that no cancer was detected. Once the procedure had been completed, Jolie undertook an allograft implant reconstruction whereby the process uses a donated human tissue that is engineered and processed to remove the cells that could cause rejection. Conferring to the National Cancer Institute, dangerous mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can also escalate a woman’s possibility of peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer. The opposite gender who have the transmutations could be at augmented risk for prostate cancer and breast cancer, and both genders with the transformations may have an advanced chance of being recognized with pancreatic cancer. Whereas ovarian cancer is the deadliest multiplicative cancer in women, it is rare in contrast to other deadly illnesses.
When I read this article, initially I had mixed reaction. I did not know whether the choice to remove her fallopian tubes was the right move or not. In some cultures, it is not right to disrupt the reproductive system of a woman. However after taking the issue at hand into consideration, I realized that Jolie had made the right decision on several platforms. One of the major advantages of the process that she undertook was that it was a preventive measure. The risk involved was not that major. Some of her family members had died due to the gene that she possess. This was a move that I could also have taken if I was in her situation.
Angelina Jolie has won many plaudits for her role in the awareness of breast cancer towards women and men. I think that her campaign that helps women by raising the awareness levels since she is a celebrity has to be congratulated. By informing the whole public that she had had her breast removed gave an impression that not many actors would like to have. What I noticed is that she decided to challenge her own public image and not only did she become successful but she also redefined the role that individuals who act as role models can play. However, by deciding to undergo her procedure, there are many individuals all over the world who adore her and she is their role model. I also think that she has just touched a field that had not been exploited to the maximum. I know that many women would want to have the procedure as Jolie did. This may push the American health system to the limit. The women in America have had their healthcare issues pushed, but one has to comprehend that it is vivacious that the eminence of life of women should be increased. For normal individuals who do not have insurance, I comprehend that the procedure is expensive. However, research conducted by Funk, depicts that radiation and chemotherapy are more expensive than the procedure that Angelina undertook. The women who have been diagnosed with any chances of having the gene that causes the cancer should be courageous as Angelina was and take measures to ensure that they also undergo the same procedure.
I also give recognition where it is due. I think that the procedure that she undertook was a win situation in that many women became aware of her circumstance. She was able to prevent herself from future breast cancer and ovarian cancer while at the same time creating awareness. Some people have however not taken this lightly. They argue that her procedure means that there would be an increased pressure on the healthcare systems of the United States.

Work cited
CANCER UNITED: Facing Our Own Mortality Can Be a Gift Littlehampton Gazette (Littlehampton, England) 2015-03-25


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