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 3 of 3)

“I see people every day who should have been referred for genetic testing five years ago, and I’m petrified for them,” she said. “It’s fantastic that she wrote it.”

Wiesman added that the Program for Jewish Genetic Health recently launched a campaign promoting awareness of genetic testing and OF breast and ovarian cancer in the Jewish community.

“I’m just grateful that this is something that will get the word out there in a way that the medical community hasn’t been able to,” Wiesman said.

Despite the enthusiastic reaction to Jolie’s statement, some are wary that the publicity might encourage women to make rash decisions about potentially life-altering health choices.

“Unfortunately it might spur some women who aren’t at high risk to look into genetic testing, as well,” Schlager explained.

Rudnick disagreed, saying that the number of women who might be saved by knowing more about their potential risk far outweighs the potential danger.

“I don’t worry that there’s going to be hysteria,” she said. “These diseases are incredibly difficult to fight, and I’m much more worried about the people who aren’t getting the information until it’s too late.”

Jolie’s revelation comes at a crucial time for Jewish cancer victims and advocates.

In April, the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the validity of Myriad Genetics & Laboratories’ patent on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, a divisive case that has split advocates.

Advocates of gene patenting argue that if pharmaceutical companies don’t have the financial incentive provided by the patent system, research will stagnate. Still others question the very validity of a patent on something that was discovered rather than invented.

The high court is expected to rule on the issue sometime in June, Schlager said.


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!
  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • 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.