Taking health risks

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 26, 2015

Everyone dreads going to see a doctor, especially if they have reason to believe their diagnosis might be something life threatening.

Recently, movie star Angelina Jolie received a diagnosis nobody wants to hear. Doctors told her that she’s at risk for developing an early stage of cancer, according to Time Magazine. In an effort to prevent the disease, Jolie underwent preventative surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Nearly two years ago, Jolie decided to undergo a double mastectomy after doctors told her that she had a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

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She described her ordeal in an op-ed column she wrote for “The New York Times.” She wrote about how the genetic cancer gene claimed the lives of her mother, grandmother and aunt.

I admire the actress for taking the steps necessary to make sure she’ll be able to live a long and healthy life with her family.

I don’t have a family history of cancer, save for the exception of my grandfather who’s currently undergoing radiation treatment for an early stage of prostate cancer, but I too would take the steps necessary to ensure a longer life on this planet.

While Jolie’s decision to undergo multiple surgeries, which carries its own health risks, seems drastic, especially since she wasn’t actually diagnosed with cancer, she decided to do what she thought was best.

Thanks to modern medicine, we are now able to discover medical conditions we are predisposed to through genetic testing.

However, genetic testing could be seen as both a blessing and a curse.

While it’s great to know what you’re at risk for in order to take preventative measures against it, the notion of knowing what you might be diagnosed with before actually becoming sick seems daunting.

However, surgery isn’t the only option if faced with a diagnosis like Jolie’s.

She made it clear in her column that there are other choices people can make like opting to take alternative medicines and visiting the doctor regularly.

In the end, it’s all about choosing the right option for you in order to live the life you want.