Here's a crazy notion: fucking cure cancer already!!!

...the actress Angelina Jolie — has focused public attention on breast cancer again, but this time with an even bolder message: A woman at genetic risk should feel empowered to remove both breasts as a way to prevent the disease. Ms. Jolie revealed on Tuesday that because she carries a cancer-causing mutation, she has had a double mastectomy.

...

Breast cancer experts and advocates applauded the manner in which Ms. Jolie explored her options and made informed decisions, saying it might influence some women with strong family histories of breast cancer to get genetic tests.

But some doctors also expressed worry that her disclosure could be misinterpreted by other women, fueling the trend toward mastectomies that are not medically necessary for many early-stage breast cancers. In recent years, doctors have reported a virtual epidemic of preventive mastectomies among women who have cancer in one breast and decide to remove the healthy one as well, even though they do not have genetic mutations that increase their risk and their odds of a second breast cancer are very low.
(Source)
Well, I'm glad someone's worried. Seriously, people, what's wrong with this picture? Call me insane, but when people start hacking off healthy body parts as a method of preventing illness, modern medicine has reached an epic fail.



Instead of finding yet more ridiculous reasons to make plastic surgeons rich, we the people  - not governments, they don't do shit - need to put more pressure on the medical community to start finding cures.  Because this was one of the saner articles I read about Jolie; the one I read at work babbled on about the wonders of improved plastic surgery techniques:
Younger women like Angelina Jolie, who discover they are high-risk for breast cancer and elect to have their breasts removed before it develops, are driving the trend towards better breast reconstruction options for all women.

Immediate reconstruction procedures, in which breast reconstruction begins at the same time as the mastectomy, are now the "gold standard" for breast cancer patients, said Dr. Joshua Levine, chief of surgical services at the New York Center for the Advancement of Breast Reconstruction.

It allows breast surgeons and plastic surgeons to collaborate on both removing the cancer and reconstructing more natural-looking breasts, he said.

Still, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates only 30 percent of women are made aware of reconstruction options before having a mastectomy
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What about the option of a cure?

Men, show of hands...how many of you would hack off your dicks because you think you might get cancer some day?  Hell...one of my former coworkers had to get her tubes tied because her husband didn't want to use condoms anymore, but feared getting a vasectomy - just a vasectomy - would rob him of his "essences".

Why is it always women giving something up?  Hysterectomies, mastectomies, labiaplasties... friggin' cost of healthcare steadily rising while the number of cures stays the same - what the hell?

You know, it's times like this that slogans like "Komen for the Cure" suddenly develop a whole new meaning.

Comments

  1. Now, that I think of it, I've yet to hear of men giving up their penises or whole reproduction system due to prostate cancer. It there were cases, I'd like to hear then.

    You're right, it seems women always have to give up something for treatment. It's as if to say that women are in worse shape than men when it comes to cancers and diseases. So, taking apart their bodies is the best way to go to help them. On top of that, it seems women are always expected to give up something for men, particularly when it comes to sex. SMH.

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  2. Cancer is one of those funny illnesses. Researchers aren't sure if it's caused by genetics, or environment or some strange combination of both.

    In her case the particular gene she had was mutated and 80% likely to cause breast cancer so the mastectomy was a smart decision for her.

    Why is it always women giving something up? Hysterectomies, mastectomies, labiaplasties... friggin' cost of healthcare steadily rising while the number of cures stays the same - what the hell?

    Well...for many reasons. One reason is the fat composition of women's bodies p. Breasts in particular, because they are fatty tissue and because of how exposed they are means that they tend to soak up any toxins/chemical compounds in the environment. Normally this isn't a problem...except for the all the pollution we live around and the dangerous chemical compounds in everything that comes with our lifestyle in developed countries. It's one of the reasons I don't wear makeup(besides the fact that it's terrible for anybody's skin with prolonged usage) or use perfume, because the chemicals from those products just stay in our tissue doing god knows what to our DNA and our bodies, particularly our reproductive organs over time. I would avoid plastics completely too, if it was possible for me. Unfortunately they're in EVERYTHING(even clothing) and those are the main culprits when it comes to mutating our genes. Not the plastics themselves but the chemicals used to manufature them. Chemical processing fucks up a LOT of things.

    Everyone in the world has "free radicals" in their cells but for some reason people in developed industrial countries get Cancers at a far greater rate than other people in the world. It's probably because of all the unnatural chemical compounds in our environment, particularly our food/clothing/water etc. American Black men for instance have the highest prostate cancer rate. I thinks it's not the number one killer of black men but it's up there on the list of things that kill black men.

    But African Men and black men from everywhere else in the world don't get prostate cancer as often as American Black men do. Or any kind of Cancer really. I think the reason for that is obviously because of the differences in lifestyle. From what I understand obesity and CHF and heart disease are unknown in parts of the world where food isn't processed. And most people in the reast of the world don't eat as much meat/dairy/fat as people in developed industrial western countries tend to do.

    Remember how everyone said red meat is bad for your heart? Well after scientists studied the Masaai and the Inuit, two groups of people who eat meat and dairy as their primary source of sustenance, they came to the conclusion that there is nothing inherently wrong with eating red meat in and of itself. Well DUH! I guess the early studies didn't have a control for fresh, non processed meat and that's where that belief(erroneously) came from. The meat they eat is not domesticated and therefore it's less prone to diseases that animals(or any large group of organisms) grouped together tend to have. Plus neither of those cultures live a sedentary lifestyle like we tend to do in Western Developed Countries today.

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  3. The second reason women's bodies are so prone to certain illnesses/conditions is because viruses/diseases operate like parasites and they have evolved specifically to target female reproductive organs. In the case of viruses they actually target the reproductive system of our cells the mitochondrial DNA, which comes from your mother, and is literally the powerhouse of the cell. And in the case of diseases they target our reproductive organs like our breasts and our uterus, simply because it's the easiest route to the next host which is usually the fetus. These microorganisms aren't parasites, but they're parasitic in the way they reproduce. A successful parasite doesn't intend to kill it's host it just piggybacks on it's hosts immune/reproductive system in order to reproduce/evolve itself. That's why HIV can be spread through breast milk from the mother to the child. Even in animals ESPECIALLY domesticated ones, it's the same way. From the view of a virus/disease, the female reproductive tissues are the best possible place to reside. Mother nature is fucking creepy... I know. Some faulty mutated genes are actually thought to be like old viruses that managed to link with our DNA at some point in the distant past and they've just been hiding there all this time. (Parasite Eve was real!)

    Even with STD/STI's men can catch them and have no symptoms. Men can get yeast infections and have no symptoms but they can pass them to a female and like instantly she's sick. Even children do it to mothers also, to a lesser degree.( That's why I don't want kids, lol)

    Women I think are just more biologically prone to certain kinds of illness and also a woman is not going to risk her health for vanity, unlike most men. I know a male relative who died from a very prolonged bought with prostate cancer because he just flat out refused every therapy and refused to have his testicles removed. So there wasn't anything to be done. Although I also know a person whose life was saved by an orchidectomy. I know Montel Williams had breast cancer. And he talked about how it wasn't just a female disease and it's important for men to get checked as well. I'm not sure if he had a mastectomy or not.

    With Cancer since it's linked to genetics gene therapy could be the answer. People who carry the sickle cell gene are protected against malaria. And a mutated gene that causes a malignant illness today may save a person's life in the future.So gene therapy is also like gambling against the future in some respects. Certain cancers are linked to genes but those genes are also activated by things in our environment, so if there is any cure for cancer it's probably going to have to be a multifaceted approach.


    BTW it hasn't escaped my notice that certain therapies/possibilities are being given short shift by big pharma, Cancer medication and treatment is very financially lucrative. We could probably learn much more about gene therapy if Stem Cell research wasn't banned for instance...I know. I know.

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    1. I'm really gonna need shorter comments from you, hon.

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  4. I did have a coworker who got a vasectomy for his wife. They didn't want any kids and he felt that she went through giving birth so it was his turn. Af for Jolie; its jacked up that she got rid of both of her breasts, but the fact she had a 87% chance of getting cancer I can see why. Especially since she has kids.

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    1. The problem is not that Jolie gave up her breasts once she realized her odds (obviously). The problem is when the plastic surgery industry tries to derail the focus from finding cures to, "Isn't it great? Now when you lose your breasts, you can get a new pair which look and feel almost like them!!!"

      In other words, the response to a woman cutting off her healthy breasts should be, "Holy shit...we need to get on this."

      Jolie did what she felt she needed to do, but we know it wasn't easy, and we know there's a serious psychological impact when a woman feels she has to cut off her breasts while they're still healthy.

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    2. I did have a coworker who got a vasectomy for his wife. They didn't want any kids and he felt that she went through giving birth so it was his turn.

      He's a decent human being.

      Delete
  5. Seconding Student of the World's statements. As a biology and genetics student, I studied cancer extensively this semester, and learned that it's not one disease - it's more like fifty. Every kind of cancer has its own separate set of mechanisms, and there is so much yet to learn that science is still focused on prevention along with cure.

    Although having your breasts hacked off sucks. :( Happened to my aunt, and to my cousin's wife, when they got breast cancer (both survived, thank god).

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    1. Thank God, indeed.

      Makes me wonder: how's your health, girl?

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    2. Nothing has happened to the ticking time bags as of yet, but my aunt's younger sister is getting the detailed BRCA test this summer. If she turns up with any suspicious mutations, I'm asking Dad to fork over for a blood test for me.

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  6. I admit, if a doctor told me that I would have.. like Angelinas case...an 80 something percent chance of developing breast cancer, my mind would ponder about doing it. Another part of me wonders should I do it..would it do much good? It is said that she now has a 5 percent chance developing breast and ovarian cancer.
    Still, Angelina can develop both even at 5 percent.

    Another reason that I ponder about having a mastectomy is because how cancer is. Just when you think you got rid of one form of cancer,sometimes you may develop another . I was just thinking about what Robin Roberts had breast cancer,then she developed a form of pre cancerous blood cancer which I'm happy that she conquered but
    Im quite sure there are are times where she wonder if another type of cancer may form.

    I agree with Angelina about one thing: It doesn't make you unfeminine because of breastor ovary removal.My mom would tell me if I have a hysterectomy to not tell a man about it.First of all, I hope that the man would be understanding of why I did it. A neighbor of mine has overcame her battle with breast cancer. In her journey of battling the disease, she lost her hair ,her breast and she had already had a hysterectomy before her breast cancer diagnosis. So far, they are 33 years strong. Far as she was concerned, her health top priority before anybody.. including her husband. If some told that I carried a breast cancer gene.. idk..whether it works or not, I may go for it

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    1. Absolutely. If someone told me I was at such a high risk, then hell yes...in a heartbeat.

      But I think the plastic surgery industry needs to calm the hell down and not rush to hold Jolie up as a poster girl to encourage more women to hack off healthy breasts. Slow down. It's not positive news. It's never "okay" to have to hack of healthy body parts. It's a very serious, difficult decision. It's not fair for anyone to ever have to even consider it, so instead of the industry seeing dollar signs, pause to reflect what a woman goes through when she realizes she's about to lose a healthy body part.

      Because it's not about her man or her woman or even femininity. What about when it's limbs? Eyes?

      Delete
  7. K

    There is a cure for cancer. Trust that 11 years in medicine has taught me that all diseases have cures, even AIDS. So why haven't we given the populous this magical cure?

    Because Big Pharma, the hospitals and insurance companies make whopping sums of money off of our illnesses.

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    1. Leo Princess5/17/13, 6:37 PM

      And DOAN drops the truth. Why cure when you can make money hand over fists selling hundreds of treatments? As long as the stock holders occupy greater priority than the actual sick, cures will remain long in coming.

      Couple that with the slow pace in advancements for women-exclusive diseases, and cures for that specific branch of cancers will be in the dark for even longer. Don't think I didn't notice how fast ED drugs got on the market. <_<

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    2. Yeah, for a long time, even now to some degree, medicine has been very male focused. Look in many textbooks you'll see that most images depict men rather than depicting men and women. And sometimes reported symptoms for diseases and infections are more men-centric without considering that symptoms in woman can be completely different, like in the case of heart attacks. The medical field is still behind in considerations for transmen and transwomen as well.

      There's still a lot of things in the greater system that privilege cismen over ciswomen, like getting insurance to cover viagra versus covering birth control, abortions, etc.

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  8. ...I didn't fully appreciate how much Ms. Jolie is admired and respected and had neglected to consider just how powerful a celebrity personal anecdote could be.

    If American women saw themselves in Angelina Jolie -- then that would be a problem. Because the logical next question is: Should I get a preventive mastectomy?

    Then I realized something was missing in her piece; something that should have been printed in big black letters:

    NOTE: This story is not relevant to more than 99% of American women.

    Why? Because more than 99% of women do not have BRCA1 -- or BRCA2, for that matter.


    ~ "What Angelina Jolie Forgot to Mention"

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