Jewish Women Call Angelina Jolie Inspiration for Breast Cancer Surgery

Brings Star Power to BRCA Gene Mutation Fight

Star Power: Breast cancer advocates hailed Angelina Jolie for openly discussing her decision to undergo a double mastectomy.
getty images
Star Power: Breast cancer advocates hailed Angelina Jolie for openly discussing her decision to undergo a double mastectomy.

By Anne Cohen

Published May 15, 2013, issue of May 31, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Jolie had kept silent about her three-month-long treatment, which ended in April, until the announcement May 14. She said she hoped being open about her decision would help bring attention to the issue and encourage women to get tested.

Rudnick knew exactly how Jolie was feeling.

“I know what it’s like to be recovering from the very same procedure. It’s not easy,” Rudnick said. “She knows that [by] keeping it silent, she won’t have the same impact.”

After testing positive for the BRCA1 gene, Schlager, 46, underwent preventative ovarian and breast surgery. Like others who have undergone the procedure, she considers herself a cancer “previvor.”

“This is not an easy decision,” Schlager said. “It’s not something that women run out and do willy-nilly, but I think the fact that she’s done it and she’s a beautiful, confident woman makes it a little more acceptable and a little less scary.”

Though she salutes Jolie for sharing her experience, Schlager admitted feeling somewhat bittersweet that it took a celebrity like Jolie to bring the issue to the public consciousness.

“I think it’s a shame that it takes a big public figure like Angelina Jolie to bring attention to a health issue that’s so important, “ she said. “It’s sad, because it always has to take a celebrity coming out to call attention to something that should be a discussion with a woman’s doctor every day.

“That’s just the culture we’re in, and it’s [due to] the evolution of health care issues. We’re still migrating from a time where people didn’t talk about health issues at all to a time where people are becoming more open.” Chani Wiesman, a genetic counselor with Yeshiva University’s Program for Jewish Genetic Health and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is also optimistic.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.