SAN DIEGO, May 24, 2013 – It is hard to deny the prevalence of celebrity activism these days, impacting political outcomes, social values, cultural trends, and a multitude of other issues affecting individuals and the way we conduct our lives.
For those of us who admit to subscribing to “People” magazine, it is difficult to hide the secret fun of a guilty pleasure as we ravage its pages to learn all we possibly can about famous folks and their lifestyles, right down to the very last published word.
There is great power in celebrity, and with this power comes an inherent responsibility to those of us paying attention. Hopefully there is the realization that those who idolize celebrities do just that: idolize them.
This makes it easy to appreciate celebrities like Angelina Jolie who use their vast visibility and ability to gain public attention not only for their own benefit, but also for the public good.
Jolie’s courageous story has been featured just about everywhere lately. Her willingness to disclose her choice to have a preventive double mastectomy because of her family history and genetic test results is, at the very least, praiseworthy.
Angelina Jolie’s story resonated loudly with many women. For those women born into families with the proclivity for breast cancer, the impact of the disease often prompts an introspective journey.
The decision to take the BRCA gene test can be difficult. However, for many, knowing the enemy and the issues is advantageous. Even a positive result gives women choices, and helps them make their own proactive decisions and assess the odds for survival. For some, this means a preventive mastectomy like the one Angelina Jolie chose.
Even if the result is negative, it is important to keep in mind that there is no assurance that a woman will never get breast cancer. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic “having one or even several risk factors doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop cancer—many women who develop breast cancer will have no known risk factor other than simply being women.”
With education, information, and awareness comes growth and personal power, and the opportunity to make healthy choices and lifestyle modifications which are right for you.
Some of the major risk factors for breast cancer from www.cancer.org:
- Being female.
- Increasing age.
- A family history of breast cancer.
- Inherited gene that increases cancer risk.
- Radiation exposure.
- Beginning your period at a younger age.
- Beginning menopause at an older age.
- Having your first child at an older age.
- Post-menopausal hormone therapy.
- Drinking alcohol.
Choosing life was Angelina Jolie’s conscious choice, and undergoing a double-mastectomy was her solution to keeping it.
Being women, we are physically able to give and support life, while also being emotionally programmed to nurture it. It is what makes us the amazing people that we are, as well as that which confounds us, enriches us, confuses us, and blesses us throughout the cycles of our lives.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is President and CEO of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California. In addition to her positions as entrepreneur, health care executive, educator, media guest and contributor, Edwards-Tate is also a wife, daughter, and dog lover. Read more LifeCycles in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow At Your Home Familycare on Facebook and on Twitter @AYHFamilycare.
Copyright © 2013 by At Your Home Familycare
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