GOOD

Angelina Jolie Discusses Removal of Her Ovaries and Fallopian Tubes

The humanitarian and filmmaker shares the latest development in her journey to minimize her cancer risk.

Image via Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons.

Today, Angelina Jolie penned an op-ed for the New York Times frankly discussing her recent surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. The operation carried the added weight of kickstarting early menopause despite the hormone replacements Jolie has been taking. It was the latest development in Jolie’s commitment to publicly sharing her courageous efforts to preemptively minimize her chances for cancer, ever since a blood test revealed that she carried the “faulty” BRCA1 gene, which gave Jolie “an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.” The humanitarian, filmmaker, and mother of six has been incredibly forthright in disclosing the details of her difficult journey with the world, including the decision to undergo a double mastectomy two years ago. Post-procedure, Jolie reported in another NYT op-ed that her breast cancer risk had “dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent.”

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Germany’s Blind Breast Cancer Detectors

Braille readers are able to detect tumors much earlier than most doctors and women performing self-exams.

Science shows that many good ideas occur while in the shower. One morning, Frank Hoffman, a German doctor, was struck by the thought: would blind women do his job better than him?

It’s fairly well known that blind people trained to read Braille have a highly developed sense of touch, even more so than their counterparts who do not read Braille. Hoffmann hypothesized that blind and visually-impaired women might be the best candidates to carry out breast examinations on patients, which depends on searching for small irregularities in breast tissue.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Thanks for the Mammaries

Inspired by her breast cancer, artist Bettina Hubby organizes an irreverent art show.

Thanks for the Mammaries installation shot. Photo by Steven Rimlinger

It’s already heartbreaking enough to be diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer as Los Angeles-based artist Bettina Hubby was last January. But Hubby found that the toughest thing was the dour reactions of her friends, all of whom treated Hubby’s recovery with kid gloves or, worse, pity. To break the ice, the fun-loving Hubby started a Facebook page dedicated to bosom humor.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Give Komen the Pink Slip: Five Ways to Support Women's Health for All

The omnipresent Susan G. Komen Foundation has pulled its grants for breast-cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood.


News broke Tuesday afternoon that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, the omnipresent charity battling breast cancer, is pulling hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of grants it had awarded Planned Parenthood to fund cancer screenings. The official reason? A new rule forbids the organization from funding any group currently under investigation in Congress. (Planned Parenthood is being investigated by legislators who oppose abortion rights and want to make doubly sure federal funds aren't being used for abortions). But many assume Komen caved to anti-abortion activists, and possibly to anti-choice higher-ups within the foundation.

At best, this decision is spineless. At worst, it's cruel. Rescinding the Planned Parenthood funding implies that the only women who deserve to receive breast cancer screenings are those who can afford a private doctor. Three million women and men visited Planned Parenthood last year. Over the past five years, Susan G. Komen allowed the health centers to provide nearly 170,000 breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Pink Watching: Grading the Breast Cancer PSAs

Not even viral videos are immune from the pink haze.

It's October, which means that women can't eat yogurt, cruise at 30,000 feet, or have an orgasm without becoming more aware of their risk of breast cancer. This year, not even viral videos are immune from the pink haze. Nothing exemplifies the delicacy of cancer marketing more than the comedic PSA, which must walk the line between raising awareness with its catch and stirring up resentment over a poorly-considered joke. This year, cancer-related nonprofits, ad agencies, and rogue individuals have employed everything from boob balloons to ninja masks to half-naked men in an effort to get us to pay attention. Below, GOOD grades six new efforts:

"Jealous With Envy"

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: The Surprising Link Between Light Pollution and Cancer

Do we need nighttime darkness to stay healthy? After finding a correlation between light pollution and increased risk of cancer, researchers say yes.


There are plenty of arguments against lighting the night sky: It wastes energy, blots out stars and messes with the nocturnal habits of animals in a big way. Now there’s another reason, one that could go a long way toward convincing humans that whatever sense of safety is conferred by nighttime lighting, it isn’t worth the risk. It turns out that light pollution may be a cancer risk.

That statement is bold, but increasingly the science is proving it out. Humans, as well as many animals and plants, need regular exposure to darkness to maintain what’s called the circadian rhythm—essentially the body’s internal clock, which governs various bodily functions. Of particular interest to researchers is the fact that darkness at night tells the body to produce certain hormones, most importantly melatonin, which not only aids sleep, but also helps to maintain immune system function.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles