The Numbers That Made Angelina Jolie's Decision Easy

For those that are facing decisions about doing a certain treatment plan or not, my strong suggestion is to "get the numbers" from your onc.

You may be trying to decide between surgery options, like a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. Or you may want to know what impact not having chemo or radiation will have on your life expectancy. Or you may be considering whether or not to use hormone blockers. Your decision may become easier when you ask what your recurrence and mortality rates will be, with and without a certain treatment plan.

There are actual numbers behind every recommendation made! They're not  pulled out of the air. DON'T BE SHY ABOUT ASKING. Just explain that you'd like to have the numbers to make a more educated decision. Often asking this information will make your decision much easier.

Angelia Jolie's story is one that makes my point. In a 2013 article in the New York Times entitled, "My Medical Choice," she shared about her decision to have surgery to prevent breast cancer. She decided to have a prophylactic (preventive) mastectomy. Why? Her mom died of breast cancer at 56. Angelina was BRCA1 positive. She got her "numbers," given that information. Having a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy reduced her chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer from 87% to 5%. That could be called a "no brainer" decision.

I wanted you to know her story to demonstrate that sometimes the numbers make difficult decisions black and white.

And sometimes not.

But ask, friends. Get educated. Ask questions. Ask questions until you get answers you can understand and act on. You're your own best advocate ... There's no one better! xoxox

Shared with love by Jan James, Hope After Breast Cancer

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