The 2012 District of Columbia Miss America contestant announced last year on a national television news interview that she will have a double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer and will make breast cancer prevention her platform during the Miss America Pageant. She made this decision because she has a chromosomal disease that makes her at-risk for developing breast cancer, the same as her mother who died from breast cancer. This question was posed in the recent article Extreme Breast Cancer Prevention: Should At-Risk Women Have Both Breasts Removed? “…are women choosing such surgery due to unwarranted fear and anxiety?” The article also provides little known information including the history of breast cancer surgery and how it has painstakingly evolved from the old way of disfiguring the body through unnecessary radical mastectomies to breast surgeries that are designed to conserve the breasts. The video is very enlightening as well.
The earlier announcement was disheartening to this author and it even took quite a while for her to write about this topic but after reading this recent article she realized that it needs to be addressed in this column.
It’s disheartening because the 2012 Miss District of Columbia is making breast cancer prevention her platform. In addition, many celebrities have opted to take this path for breast cancer prevention. Breast cancer prevention is a broad and controversial topic. Her particular situation and decision could be influential for some who will not do their own research for their own particular situation before considering such a drastic decision for prevention of breast cancer.
Fear and anxiety come when the imagination considers only the negative possibilities. It is important to share other body and mind friendly perspectives and options for breast cancer prevention. This will help create an environment for expanded discussions, personal research and possibly broadened or reconsidered decisions.
Ultimately, the final decision is personal but all options need to be on the table for discussion and consideration of breast cancer prevention.