Many years ago Leroy had a procedure called RFA…radio frequency ablation. He actually had it more than once and it was designed to turn the tumors in his lungs to ash. It certainly wasn’t intended to be a cure-all, but it helped stem the metastatic tide of his cancer for a while. He wrote about it on this blog, never dreaming it would cause a flood of phone calls to pour into Johns Hopkins, but it did. The doctor who performed the procedure needed help with his phone lines for a few days, because cancer patients from all over the country were calling wanting to ablate their cancer too.
Fast forward to the news a few days back about Angelina Jolie and her choice to have a double mastectomy after testing positive for a gene that greatly increased her chances of getting breast cancer. She did her research and consulted with many experts before taking this step.
I was talking to my OB/GYN about this the other day and something similar has happened at her office. Women have been calling wanting to know about having this procedure too. My doctor was telling me that most of the calls were coming from women who wouldn’t qualify for various reasons, even if they did test positive for the BRCA1 gene and she is carefully explaining what this test and procedure involves. It’s a difficult surgery and one that is discussed in detail before deciding it’s the right way to go.
Angelina Jolie showed great courage making her choice. No doubt she will help to educate many women about genetic testing and its value in cancer world.
But this was just not as easy as it seemed. Nothing ever is with cancer.