Angelina’s choice: private decision, public impact
The decision of the actress, Angelina Jolie (AJ), to undergo preventive risk-reducing bilateral mastectomy has elicited extreme responses, in support and against. We will discuss whether her decision was justified and if there are other options available to women. AJ, who is 38 years old, inherited the BRCA 1 gene. Because of the lack of randomised trials, there is controversy about the overall benefit that various risk-reduction strategies offer carriers of the BRCA 1, but some of the strategies offer a clear benefit. The decision to opt for mastectomy must be driven by the patient’s choice, evidence on the balance of the risks and benefits, the quality of life after surgery and issues relating to body image.
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