Angelina Jolie's decision to have a double mastectomy has sparked a national debate on breast and ovarian cancer treatment
While every woman must make the personal decision about what course of treatment is right for her, some doctors caution that all the publicity surrounding Jolie's choice may lead to some of us having unnecessary tests and procedures.
Dr. Monica Morrow is the chief of Breast Services at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and she is on 'Starting Point' talking with CNN's Zoraida Sambolin about different treatment options woman with breast cancer have.
She also weighs in on the BRCA1 genetic tests, and options women have if they test have a BRCA1 genetic mutation.
Dr. Morrow says that while we are talking a lot about the BRCA gene, 'most women do not have BRCA,' this gene mutation is found in a small percentage of women. She stresses that knowledge is power, and that women, who have been diagnosed with cancer or the BRCA gene should gather as much information from their doctors as possible. She stresses that all women faced with these decisions need answers to the following three questions: 'what are your options? What does each option involve, and what are the outcomes?'
Allyn Rose was Miss Washington D.C, and she is on 'Starting Point' talking with Zoraida Sambolin about her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy after losing her mother to breast cancer. At only 24-years-old her announcement was shocking to many in the pageant community.
At first Rose was hesitant to get the surgery, however after losing her mother, grandmother and great aunt Rose's father encouraged her to consider the procedure. Rose was diagnosed with a rare chromosomal disease that may predispose her to breast cancer. She thought having a preventive double mastectomy was 'radical,' but after doing research she decided it was a ‘good decision’ for her given her strong hereditary link to breast cancer and chromosomal abnormality. She made the decision because she realized she did not want to ‘run the risk of this happening to her.’
CNN anchor Zoraida Sambolin discusses her recent breast cancer diagnosis and her decision to have a double mastectomy.
CNN's Elizabeth Cohen weighs in on Angelina Jolie's revelation about her double mastectomy. She explains the health risks behind having an abnormal mutation to the BRCA1 gene, which can increase a women's risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
In her op-ed piece Angelina Jolie writes, "I carry a 'faulty' gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman."
Given this diagnosis Jolie, "decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy."
Like many parents who clean up their kid’s room, Amy Cheney came across something in her daughter’s room she wishes she hadn’t.
She was straightening out her seven-year-old’s room when she found her "Dieyt" List.”
The poorly spelled strict diet regime lists:
Seventeen pushups two times a day
Sixteen star jumps two times a day
2 kiwi fruit
5 glasses of water
Jog-run up and down the driveway 3 times
Cheney wrote this on her blog, Mamamia.com.au, after the discovery:
"I felt sick. Physically ill. Like someone had knocked the air from my chest. I could feel myself getting increasingly anxious the more words I was able to interpret from her seven-year-old spelling. [...] How did this happen?"
Mom Dara-Lynn Weiss read Cheney’s dilemma from a very personal angle. She’s the author of “The Heavy,” a memoir about putting her own seven-year-old daughter on a diet after doctors told her that she was obese. She comes to “Starting Point” to share her view.
Initially after reading the post, Weiss says she “it was shocking, horrifying and heartbreaking to think that a 7-year-old would make a list like this.” But she began to consider other explanations. “As I gave it more thought and as I read what the mother wrote, what the child wrote and benefitted from the wisdom of hundreds of internet commenters’,” Weiss says, “I thought, how much of this definition of the word diet are we bringing to this?”
In her post, Cheney first blames society for projecting its standards and ideals onto her daughter. But it turns out her daughter spoke to a classmate who was on a diet and she created her own. Weiss asks to consider, therefore, if readers are assuming this child’s goal is to lose weight versus making healthy choices, and giving that a negative connotation.
“I think the story underscores the point that in raising these issues with our children, we are not bringing up something they are not aware of already,” Weiss says. “They are conversations they are having that we should have with them.”
Reaction to the Pentagon's historic announcement allowing women on the front lines in combat roles continues this morning.
While there has been widespread praise of the decision from the president and lawmakers on both the left and right, there are also critics who are concerned that allowing women to serve in these roles could be detrimental to combat readiness.
Wayne State University Professor Kingsley Browne is one of the individuals who opposes the Pentagon's choice, and he joins Starting Point this morning to explain.
"The number of women who are likely to be interested and qualified will be very, very small, which will lead to a lot of pressure to lower standards to get the numbers up," Browne argues.
Marine Captain Zoe Bedell, one of four servicewomen who joined a lawsuit challenging the Pentagon's policy excluding women from combat positions, responds to Browne, saying, "We’re not asking for a quota or a certain amount of women in jobs. We’re asking to compete."
"The standards that women are meeting now are what’s required to do the job and that's what we're asking people to evaluate," Bedell says. "What's necessary to do the job and to give everyone a chance to compete for it."
According to senior defense officials who spoke with CNN, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is expected to lift the ban on women serving in certain sectors of the military, including infantry and other front-line combat positions that are currently off-limits.
Many lawmakers on the Hill are praising the Pentagon's move, including Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is one of the first female combat veterans ever to serve in the United States Congress.
Gabbard reacts to the decision on Starting Point this morning, calling it a "major step" that is "finally an official recognition of the sacrifices women have been making for the country."
While acknowledging that military standards "should not be compromised" because of the new policy, Gabbard says that "if women meet those standards, they should be allowed to serve."
Responding to critics who say that serving on the front lines with members of the opposite sex would be distracting, Gabbard says, "in these situations, we’re talking about highly trained professionals and all of the things that differentiate us fall aside when you’re there putting the mission first and serving as a member of the team."
This morning, a story that has shocked the college sports world. Hall Of Fame track and field coach Beverly Kearney announcing she is stepping down from her position at the University Of Texas after 21 years and six national championships. This after the coach admitted to what she calls a "consensual intimate relationship" with a student athlete on her team in 2002. The student athlete reported the relationship to the university in October 2012.
The coach says UT asked her to resign or she would be fired, and that the punishment does not fit the offense. Kearny feels her punishment was unjustified because she claims other professors and administrators at the school have not had the same repercussions after engaging in relationships that violated policy. Our team at “Starting Point” invited a representative from the university to appear on the program, but the invitation was declined. The legendary former coach, Beverly Kearney, joins us live from Austin, Texas this morning.
Kearny says she's finally come to embrace not knowing why she was treated this way by the school, especially at a time when she was negotating a contract with a raise. “I’ve always tried to live my life in a manner that I did not want to do harm," Kearney says. "And it’s always been easier for me to forgive others. But this was a challenge for me to forgive myself for making a poor decision.”
For the first time in 15 years, an American has brought home the Miss Universe crown. Olivia Culpo, a self-described cellist-nerd from Rhode Island won the Miss Universe contest Wednesday night in Vegas. She beat 88 other contestants. Culpo was originally crowned Miss USA back in June. She joins “Starting Point” to discuss what it felt like to win and what she can expect with her new title.
On whether she could imagine entering her first beauty contest just last year and then foreseeing herself winning the Miss Universe crown Culpo says, “Absolutely not. I thought I was awful on stage. I had never done a pageant before. I decided to do it over the summer. I got my dress the night before. It was too short. There was a hole in the back of it and here I am today. I never would have guessed that this would be where I am today – Never.”
On the topic of criticism for participating in pageants and showcasing a swimsuit, Culpo says she thinks there is “so much more to it.” She says, “Swimsuit portion is confidence. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the greatest shape or if you’re in the best shape out of all the 89 contestants. It’s about feeling comfortable with yourself and being open to others.” She goes on to say, “everybody has things that they don’t like about their body so I think that there’s a lot to be said for girls who are confident enough to walk on stage.”
Culpo says the contest is meant to inspire other women. She adds, “It’s not all about beauty. It’s about brains and your ability to be open to the audience and open to others,” which she says feels is important as a woman in society.