Was Jolie Duped by her Doctors?

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While I believe that Angelina Jolie is courageous for the choice she made, I’m still deciding how I feel about what she did. I wonder if her surgeries were necessary. Could she have done something less extreme to reduce her risk of cancer?

And if there is an effective, less extreme option, then I’m concerned about the publicity surrounding Jolie’s choice. It might make other women believe that they must make the same choice that Jolie made.

My first thought when I heard about Jolie’s double mastectomy was why didn’t she just change her diet to reduce her risk? There is ample research showing that a plant-based diet dramatically reduces the risk of cancer. If you’re not familiar with the research, I suggest watching the movie, Forks over Knives or reading The China Study.

Then I read articles about how Jolie had the BRCA1 gene and that her chances of getting cancer were 87 percent. With odds like that I began to think that perhaps Jolie made the right choice. Maybe in her case she had to be more aggressive about prevention.

I continued to have doubts, but moved on with my life and forgot about Jolie until Maryanne (thanks Maryanne!) sent me a link to the article, How Angelina Jolie was Duped by Cancer Doctors into Self Mutilation For Breast Cancer She Never Had.

In this article, Mike Adams, makes the following claims:

  • That Jolie’s 87 percent risk of breast cancer was a lie.
  • That the BRCA1 gene can be suppressed through lifestyle choices.
  • That the claim that there is only ONE way to reduce breast cancer risk is a lie.
  • That cancer micro-tumors exist in all of us, and must be “managed” in everyone to prevent the growth of tumors.
  • That the cancer industry uses fear tactics and false statistics to frighten women into risky procedures that have a high profit margin.
  • That it’s insane to claim that cutting off breasts “empowers” women. What actually empowers women is providing them with honest information on healthy lifestyle choices that allows them to keep their bodies intact.

After reading this article, I can’t help but wonder if Jolie was duped by her doctors. I’d love, however; to hear your thoughts!

Photo courtesy of News Top 24.

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About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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19 Responses to Was Jolie Duped by her Doctors?

  1. Anna says:

    No idea if she were duped, Jolie has been on the front with her fight for information. We all have to make our own decisions.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Anna! I can’t say for sure either, but I wonder. Anyway, I wanted to get this perspective out there. I think it’s important to question doctors and medical procedures. I’ve known so many people, including myself, who have been harmed rather than helped by medical procedures. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend girlfriend!! Celeste 🙂

  2. I hope she is good with her choice, whether she was duped or not. Personally, I put nothing past the medical establishment, especially if you’ve got the insurance money to cover such drastic measures. (Would they have done this for Angelina pro bono, especially if she were not famous?) The majority of women could not afford her “solution.” I had a cousin who had a mastectomy after being diagnosed with cancer. She also had reconstruction. Twenty years later she died of breast cancer in the same (but reconstructed) breast. Everyone just has to figure it out for themselves. But the medical establishment obviously does not have the answers. Or so it seems to me.

    • Hey there Deborah! I always love to hear your thoughts! So sorry about your cousin. How very sad. Anyway, I’m with you. I don’t trust the medical establishment. I’m sure there are a lot of fabulous doctors doing good things for people. Still, doctors are human and many fall prey to greed. Not only this, but even good doctors who care about their patients welfare are not perfect. They make mistakes and more than this, there is only so much that modern medicine can do. I also think the medical establishment relies too much on drugs and surgery and disregards other forms of healing. My neighbor’s son is currently suffering from leukemia and is in the hospital waiting for a blood transfusion. No one has even talked to him about his diet. He’s living off hamburgers and other unhealthy food even now. I don’t get this. Celeste 🙂

  3. Renard Moreau says:

    [ Smiles ] Well, this is a tough one to answer; but I will try.

    I think that she should have gotten a second and third opinions from other doctors.

    I genuinely believe that she should have switched to a vegan diet to minimize the risks. The biggest irony is: many doctors tend to prescribe a vegan diet for their cancer patients.

    • Thank you so much for your comment!! Yes, this is a tough one, but with the risks being so high I think it’s important to talk about. I agree that she should have gotten several opinions and switched to a vegan diet. But people make their own choices. I guess I’m just worried that because she’s a celebrity that people will be following in her footsteps instead of considering their options. Celeste 🙂

  4. Poppy says:

    Hi Celeste, I am passing on the Shine On Award to you.
    http://bunnykitchen.com/2013/06/01/shine-on-award/
    Poppy 🙂

  5. carmen says:

    Great post, Celeste!

    Very thought-provoking! We all make our own choices. I’d rather strengthen my immune system with a plant-based diet. That way I’ll be as healthy as possible and spare the suffering of animals and help the planet. I truly believe with the research I have done and common sense, that eating meat is a culprit. I prefer to put my trust in nature’s food (a vegan lifestyle), keeping active and being positive, rather than the medical profession. My mother had bladder cancer (she ate meat) should I have my bladder removed?

    While some may think Angelina is courageous, my opinion is those who make such a drastic choice are fearful. I refuse to live in fear. Those who make a decision to do this may die of heart disease or some other cancer. Give yourself the best possible chance to stay healthy by eating a plant-based diet.

    Pura vida!!
    ❤ carmen

    • Always lovely to hear from you Carmen! Sorry to hear about your mother’s cancer. Great comment about if she should have removed her bladder, however. No one would ever consider doing that, so why remove a breast?

      I hear you about Jolie being fearful. I suppose watching her grandmother and mother dying from breast cancer must have hit her hard. And I’m sure that her doctors played into her fear by telling her that she had an 87 percent chance of getting cancer. How did they come up with that statistic? Anyway, fear makes us do crazy things. Celeste 🙂

  6. i read this, and the responses, and then walked away to go hang up my scrubs. I wasn’t going to respond, but while I was hanging and folding, I kept thinking about this. Being in the field of radiation oncology, I sometimes have a different perspective than other vegan/healthy types on philosophical debates like these.

    I can understand that watching her mother die fairly young from a related cancer was not something she wanted to go through herself or put her family through, and that is a HUGE motivation. I watch people and their families deal with cancer every day. Even if you beat it, it is a horrid experience. One that I would definitely want to avoid, by all means. I spoke about this at work with a few of my co-workers when I first heard it on the radio. The concensus seemed to be that they agreed with her decision. I think it would be a tough choice to make, but I’m not a mother, these other ladies were.

    I don’t think the data is just made up on a whim either. Cancer statistics are constantly being compiled on the short and long term data from actual patients and their actual outcomes. I also think it’s a bit naive to think that changing your diet will that eliminate risk.

    I mean look at Sarah Kramer from govegan.net! She was raised vegetarian and has been vegan now for more of her life than not… and she still got breast cancer.

    • I’m so glad that you decided to respond to this Ty! I’m just someone with little knowledge about cancer who is trying to make sense of Jolie’s decision based on my own experiences, biases and what the media has reported. So my perspective on the topic is limited. Since you have knowledge and experience on the topic, I appreciate your perspective!

      I also want to say that after reading your note, I went back and reread the comments on this post. When I read my response to Anna, I cringed. I realized that I’d fallen into an old habit of exaggerating and over generalizing (something that my ex-husband used to complain that I did). My comment about my experience with the medical profession was sweeping and negative. Not only does this not respect how I actually feel about the medical profession, but it was disrespectful.

      While it is true that I’ve had bad medical experiences and I’ve known people who have had bad medical experiences, this doesn’t mean that I believe the medical community is bad. I actually have a lot of respect for those in the medical field and believe that they do a lot of good for a lot of people. My actual meaning was simply that doctors are not perfect.

      Anyway, since you are in the medical profession Ty, I hope that you will accept my apology for my disrespect. I honestly didn’t mean it. Celeste 🙂

      • well, I definitely advocate getting 2nd & 3rd opinions for anyone with a serious diagnosis, cancer, or not. I’d be truly shocked if she hadn’t done so given the quality of care she has access to. people should always question and research when it comes to their health. i didn’t take any offense, I just wanted to weigh in since I know what is legitimately happening in the cancer world. do I think this will start a mass run to the surgeon by young women? absolutely not. sometimes women with present disease, who definitely would benefit, don’t consent! the psychological connection with the disease is deep and complicated, and just as much a part of decision making for many as statistics.

    • I’m so glad you didn’t take offense Ty! I can’t imagine doing what you do for a living. Is it tough? My mom used to work for Hospice, and I don’t know how she handled it. I think you have to be very mature to work with people who are sick and suffering. Thanks so much for all of your comments! You’ve opened my perspective a bit. Celeste 🙂

  7. Also to the bladder/breast cancer comparison. Different cancers have different risk associated with them. Bladder cancer is often linked to cigarettes, chemicals and dyes, not a familial link. So no, it would not make sense to remove a bladder prophylactically, at all.

  8. Furthermore, some of the worst clinical presentations of cancer I’ve seen have been from people that tried to cure themselves holistically for years, and then have come in for radiation when the tumor has grown through their skin and all we can do is try to alleviate their pain. So very sad.

    I’m not saying that diet isn’t important, but I don’t think science based medicine should be disregarded either. I do wish they were all better incorporated together into patient care plans. And no, I don’t blame her for wanting to be there to raise her 6 children and be there for them as long as possible.

    • I agree with you Ty! I believe that when it comes to cancer both science based medicine and lifestyle changes are important. Both have something to offer, and I know that sometimes both are promoted in medical settings. I hope that in the future more medical settings will promote nutrition and lifestyle changes along with science based medicine. Thanks for your comments!! Celeste 🙂

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