There have been many takes on Angelina Jolie's recent announcement that she had a preemptive double mastectomy. Jolie's mother died of breast cancer at the age of 56. After seeking medical advice and testing positive for the "cancer gene," Jolie, 37, made the decision to have both of her breasts removed, reconstructive surgery and is planning to have her ovaries removed in the future: Inside Her Brave Choice.
This was lauded by many as courageous and brave; I'd have to agree that it takes guts to make this type of health care decision. But is it the type of courage that the average woman can afford? Is it a viable decision for a woman without the best doctors, reconstructive surgeons, and drugs. Yes, drugs because this kind of tampering with the female reproductive system is prone to throw women into early menopause, and you can rest assured that Jolie and other wealthy celebrity women who practice this type of preventative medicine are going to be pumping up with the very best bio-identical hormones to keep them from getting old and dried up while they are still in their prime. The test itself costs $3000 and is not covered by insurance. Jolie, an international sex symbol, stated that she did not believe that the operations affected her femininity. This was picked up on and affirmed loudly by a number of Hollywood celebrities and talk-show hosts sporting breast implants, facial reconstruction and most likely Botox.
Transhumanism Co-opting the "Health Care" SystemJolie has previously always denied ever having work done on her face or body, saying that she does not criticize others who choose to have plastic surgery, if it makes them" feel better" about themselves. However, because of the exhaustive work of obsessive celebrity snoops with poorly written Web sites (kudos, you are the best, you know who you are), it is clear that she has (moderately, discreetly) been having lots of small incremental surgeries to change her looks over the years, giving her the chiseled goddess look for which she has become famous. Celebrities such as Jolie have their breasts done and re-done all the time because it is an occupational requirement to remain preternaturally young and supernaturally beautiful to keep working as an actor in films, ads and TV and to keep their celeb status. They write it off on their taxes as a business expense. Reading material: All about subtlety
There is no way that I can keep Transhumanism out of this post. The basis of Angelina Jolie's bold health care decision is explained in terms of bad human genetics - the BRCA1 gene that they found in Jolie gives her an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer, according to medical science, and is referred to as a "faulty" gene. The message going out about Jolie's medical decision is once again having to do with doctors playing God and science improving on human biology: making it better and less defective than the sad-sack biology we are all born with.
While the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is no doubt in ecstasy over this new stride in breast cancer research; how much of a positive impact is this going to have for breast cancer treatment for women overall? What message does it send to regular women, especially those who, upon hearing that they have actual breast cancer, need to make some big decisions? While Angelina Jolie's surgeries are being praised as supportive of the everywoman as in: "Hey, don't feel bad about losing a breast or two to cancer- celebrities are doing it voluntarily," it also diminishes the real trauma and loss that average women go through when they undergo cancer treatment and mastectomies. Because average women don't have the best plastic surgeons on earth available to them, may not have good health benefits that provide a wide range of post-op choices, hormone therapy, or may not even cover advanced diagnostics to begin with.
True Life Case Study
I know two women, both were diagnosed with breast cancer at around the same time during the last three years.
Woman A lived in a small, moneyed community and when diagnosed with an in situ (encapsulated) breast tumor was given emergency Medicaid through the women's clinic she went to, which was working with the Komen Foundation. The clinic rep literally sold her on having both breasts implanted at a much bigger size, even the healthy one, making her practically giddy with delight that she was going to get expensive breast augmentation for free. Woman A was almost 50 years old at the time, and wasn't counseled about how large breasts cause back problems for older women, nor was it mentioned to her that women can have ongoing complications from breast implants, even the saline ones.
Woman B lives in the Bay Area, where there is fierce competition for state funded health care benefits and was on constant edge that MediCal would not give her funding for the surgery and drugs she needed. She had to prove economic hardship before she could get even the most immediate and necessary care funded, and they would not spring for expensive follow-up diagnostics, reconstructive surgery or a breast implant, even one. Although Woman B is several years younger than Woman A, they said that she did not have enough skin elasticity to warrant an implant and reconstructive.
The whole preemptive and retooling approach to breast cancer is a graft field day that is waiting to happen, and I suspect might already be happening to a certain degree. Non-profits work on the concept of "use it or lose it", the idea being that the more you give out based on documented need, the more or greater you will be allotted . Think of what will happen if massive amounts of cash need to be raised, not for basic prevention, early detection, good treatment and post-op, but for expensive what-if diagnostics, double mastectomies just in case and high-end reconstructive surgeries and implants. Massive fund raising and matching grants to, not so much treat women who already have breast cancer, but to lop off the healthy breasts of women who are afraid they may get breast cancer, but only after the pricey gene test, of course. Because this is America, and this is an idea being promoted by Hollywood celebrities, I do not feel as if this projection is far-fetched. Due to the ongoing Federal investigation to determine if public money is being inappropriately used on abortions, the Komen Foundation dumped its funding of Planned Parenthood (later rescinded after patrons withdrew from the KF in response), which was PP's main way of paying for breast screenings for its main constituency, low-income women. We do not hear a word from the Komen Foundation regarding the appropriateness of raising monies for preemptive double mastectomies and other particular measures that could become issues if Jolie's choices become a trend in breast cancer treatment - yet.
Article: Komen Vs. Planned Parenthood