Post submitted by Charlie Joughin, HRC Press Secretary
Yesterday actress and LGBT ally Angelina Jolie announced in a New York Times op-ed that she had undergone a preventative double mastectomy. She talks about losing her mother after a decade-long fight against breast cancer, and her desire to do whatever it takes to beat the disease and be around for her children and her grandchildren. Jolie writes:
“We often speak of ‘Mommy’s mommy,’ and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me. I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a ‘faulty’ gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.”
The Academy Award-winning actress has received tremendous praise from women and healthcare professionals around the world for going public with her decision and raising awareness about the disease that affects hundreds of thousands of women around the world each year.
According to the American Cancer Society, studies suggest that lesbians and bisexual women get less routine care than other women, including breast and cervical cancer screening. Some of the reasons for this include low rates of health insurance, fear of discrimination, or negative experiences with health care providers. Check out HRC’s LGBT health and aging resources for info on coming out to your doctor and tips for dealing with healthcare discrimination.
Please take a moment to say #ThanksAngelina on Twitter for encouraging women to take charge of their health and know their options.