Thank You, Angelina Jolie Pitt

cancer bracelets - source heffinsIt wasn’t Angelina’s choice to become the poster girl for breast cancer prevention and the inspiration for thousands of woman to get tested for BRCA1/2, the genetic mutation that dramatically increases the chance of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer. Testing for the condition has literally doubled since she announced her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy as a result of finding that she carries a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. She has saved lives by coming out forthrightly about her surgery.  She’s doing it again now by talking with the press about the removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes to prevent ovarian cancer.

She is so, so not alone, but she deserves, perhaps, an extra acknowledgment of bravery for sharing these painful and devastating developments willingly with the millions who hang on her every movement because she is such an extraordinarily beautiful woman. These are not announcements that boost the ego or strengthen the mesmerizing power of physical beauty. Some in her position – one built so squarely on looks and sex appeal (not to diminish her other accomplishments, but her beauty is a fundamentally defining factor) – would endeavor to hide what what happening. Desperately.

Not Angelina. She is sharing with her sisters around the world openly and freely about everything that’s happened to her body, including the onset of menopause caused by the removal of her ovaries.  Welcome to our post-menopause club, Angelina. You are here early, but you are dealing with it beautifully. Such is life. And life is what we are all about.

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