Jolie’s Mastectomy Raises Awareness, Prompts Debate

CURE, Summer 2013, Volume 12, Issue 2

People, news and events about cancer in the public eye.

In May, actress and director Angelina Jolie disclosed that she had a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer after testing positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation. She also announced that she plans to have her ovaries removed. Most women do not have a BRCA mutation. Those who do, however, have an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Jolie has a family history of cancer—both her mother and aunt died of the disease.

Actress Valerie Harper, best known for her portrayal of Rhoda on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the spin-off named after her character, received a diagnosis of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, an incurable brain cancer. "Despite the devastating diagnosis," she said on her website, "I am forging a positive path forward!"

A year after Kevin McGuire was unable to attend the 2012 American Country Music Awards with Taylor Swift due to a chemo-induced fever, the leukemia survivor finally got his date. Swift had invited the teen to the awards last year after noticing his sister's online campaign for Swift to be his prom date. The two finally met in person before this year’s show, which McGuire's family also attended.

Actress Cate Blanchett is developing the feature Cancer Vixen with HBO, based on an illustrated memoir by Marisa Acocella Marchetto that details her 11-month breast cancer experience. If the project moves forward, Blanchett will not only executive produce but also star.