Angelina Jolie Starts Dialogue on Genetic Testing, Lands Cover of Time Magazine

Angelina Jolie cancer coverAngelina Jolie caused quite a stir when she announced she had both her breasts removed shortly after learning that she had an 86% chance of developing cancer in them at some point in her life.

Most applauded her courage in one way or another. Some respected her choice even though it was not the one they would have made while others slammed her, calling the decision and following announcement extreme and irresponsible because it might encourage other women to “mutilate” themselves. (“Where is the proof that she even did it in the first place?” one ScienceAlert user wondered.)

Jolie’s predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer (caused by the BRCA1 gene) also brought up the timely issue of who can and can’t afford the highest quality of health care in our country. People know the system doesn’t work, but no one – politician or otherwise – seems to know how to fix it. 

L.A. Times columnist Robin Abcarian noted that blood testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 could cost upwards of $3,000, reminding us that many would be “unable to take action” even after testing occurred. (Jolie did make mention of this, writing in her op-ed piece that the money “remains an obstacle for many women.”)

And that was the general consensus of “the internet.” She’s rich. We’re not. Why bother? 

Angelina’s face is on the cover of Time because she put genetic testing “in the spotlight.” And it’s true. My friend and I were just two of the thousands that must have talked about what we would do in her place.
Angelina Jolie six kids
Even after a little research and many a hypothetical situation, it’s tough to know. I just don’t think anyone has the right to say that she “did the wrong thing.”

I thought we all agreed that the wrong thing was telling a woman what to do with her body?

Read: Angelina Jolie’s cancer decision highlights row over genetic technology

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