Will More Women Now Opt To Have A Breast Mastectomy?

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It was only a month or so ago we saw beloved star, Angelina Jolie, announce that she has had a double mastectomy. The reasons behind this decision are very straight forward and bold, they are basically to reduce her chances of growing that terrible disease – breast cancer.

Jolie is a carrier of the ‘faulty’ gene BRCA 1 – this meant she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Just this week we have heard that Jolie’s close aunt, sister of her mother, has died of breast cancer – meaning the decision Angelina has made can be nothing but the right one.

For many women, the only worry they have to face is the stress of a few sprouting grey hairs or undisguisable wrinkles – however for Jolie, she had to decide whether to go for that life changing op or to run the risk of developing that awful life threatening disease.


The Right Decision

Jolie, clearly has made the right decision to reduce her chances down to 5% of developing breast cancer – however for her, this decision can be seen as easier.

The glamorous movie star has the support of thousands, if not millions of women all over the world and she has now turned this awful situation into an encouragement for women in a similar position to her.

However, it could also be argued that the decision for Jolie may have been more difficult – this is because she potentially could have faced career suicide in the critical world of celebrities.


The Trend

So now Jolie has spoken out about the process she has gone through to reduce the risk of her developing cancer – will it encourage more women with the life threatening gene to do the same thing?

Even though this new development may seem rather popular right now, this ‘trend’ is not all new. Between 1998-2003 the amount of women who underwent a breast mastectomy rose by 150%. During these years, there was a huge advancement in reconstructive surgery – meaning it was possible for women to get new breasts back after the op.

Will we see a growing trend in the op now Angelina Jolie has spoken out? Maybe. But more than anything, Jolie has raised awareness again.

This awareness may not stay around forever – but in the mean time, it is likely to prompt more women to ask smart questions surrounding the sore subject. We are also likely to a rise in the amount of women getting tested for such genes – for those women who do test positive; Jolie’s story may encourage more women to undergo the life changing surgery.


John works on behalf of GLOWM, offering women’s medicine advice to those in need of it.



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