A Few Thoughts on Breast and Ovarian Cancers


Last week, Angelina Jolie shared with the world via the New York Times editorial section that she had undergone a double mastectomy. By bravely opening up about her elective procedure, Angelina Jolie has not only shared a deeply personal experience with the world, but potentially saved millions of lives in the process. We could not be more inspired and in awe of her amazing action.

At Belabumbum we make it our work to celebrate the beauty of the female form day in and out. Our bodies are both strong and delicate, they are vessels for life and they deserve our utmost love and appreciation. They are gifts to be treasured and protected from risk, including cancers. Ms. Jolie has incited a global dialogue about breast and ovarian cancers, creating an unprecedented platform for us to engage in conversation about what they mean for us as a gender and as individuals.

The tough truth is that we each know someone who has been affected by cancer. The disease has impacted my life doubly; my mother is a 20 year breast cancer survivor and my awesome sister is living with a very rare uterine cancer that is terribly under researched. It is estimated that 12% of women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Ovarian cancer, which generally occurs in older women, is the ninth most common cancer in women and ranks fifth in cancer deaths. The key to dealing with both of diseases, however, is early screening and treatment. Self breast exams and annual/biannual mammograms are key components to detecting breast cancer early. For women with a history of cancers in their families consistent screenings are very important. One such procedure is a blood test for the BRCA1 gene, which Ms. Jolie was diagnosed with.This genetic defect gives those carrying it a 65% chance of developing breast cancer, on average. Her doctors predicted she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer and a 50% risk of developing ovarian cancer, the disease that claimed her mother. Faced with this diagnosis, Ms. Jolie made the choice that has subsequently caused a media frenzy. At Belabumbum we see ourselves as a part of a global tribe of women. We believe wholeheartedly that we must support and encourage each other in moments of triumph and tribulation.

Cancer awareness is one of the biggest health issues we face at the moment. In response to this, Belabumbum has teamed up with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance for a very special project which will launch in the fall! Please stay tuned for more details. Additionally more resources on ovarian cancer can be found here. Stay strong, happy and healthy Belas.

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