Angelina Jolie has her ovaries out now for fear of cancer – was that a good idea?

Angelina Jolie has her ovaries out now for fear of cancer – was that a good idea? Not by my reasoning.

Maybe it was good for this Hollywood star but can can it be justified for the masses?

This is clearly an emotive topic. Angelina had a double mastectomy nearly 2 years ago because of her increased risk for developing breast cancer. That was her choice after having many tests. She decided what she thought was best for her. She was applauded for her decision at that time.

But was it sensible for all?

Following that very public announcement, there was a significant increase in women around the world having preventative breast removal, because they were at increased risk, not because they had breast cancer.

Surgery is not benign and comes at a significant personal and psychological cost. Add to that the massive financial burden to the system. I am not too concerned about Ms Jolies finances though and she is free to exercise her choice.

Now she has just had her ovaries removed in another expensive exercise. What are the implications for the rest of us.

My view is an in principle one.

It may be fine to go through all of this genetic testing and scans and then have expensive surgery but this is clearly not practical except for the elite minority.

Having the ‘at risk’ profile for developing cancer does not mean you will develop that particular cancer. It just means you are at a relatively higher risk.

Considering that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer, should we be advocating prophylactic removal of organs in close to half of the world’s population – I think not.

Where do we go with patients that have an increased risk of skin cancer, bowel, liver, lung cancer etc. These are not sacrificial organs or replaceable hormone systems?

Angelina Jolie has now interfered with her normal hormonal balance after removal of the ovaries. That becomes uncharted territory and requires ‘chemical’ replacement therapies that are anything but natural.

I believe there are cheaper and far more realistic (and tastier) ways of achieving a similar goal. We have overlooked the role of nutrition in cancer both as a preventative and a management option (in conjunction with and not instead of conventional treatments). Lowering our intake of processed foods, decreasing inflammation and having sensible activity levels should be the primary prevention path.

It is viable for the majority.

No doubt the press will be lauding Angelina Jolie’s spirit once again. However let’s remember that Hollywood stars do not live in the real world.

Tackle cancer from a different angle.The nutritional model of cancer at…/future-of-cancer-time-to-rethi…/…/angelina-jolie-pitt-diary-of-a-sur…

Health choices are part of life, not to be feared.|By Angelina Jolie Pitt