Did Angelina Jolie Follow the Samadi Challenge to Prevent Breast, Ovarian Cancer?

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Urologic Oncologist and Robotic Prostate Cancer Surgeon, Dr. David Samadi, evaluates Angelina Jolie's decision to have major surgery for the removal of her ovaries, as a prime example of cancer prevention for both men and women.

Today, Angelina Jolie announced her decision to have major surgery, removing her ovaries, after doctors detected signs of early cancer this month. Did Angelina Jolie follow Dr. David Samadi’s “Samadi Challenge?”

“As a urologic oncologist, I commend Angelina Jolie for taking control of her life and quality of life. It is up to every man and woman to understand their risk factors and make a personal choice about prevention.”

The Samadi Challenge stresses the importance of early prevention, knowledge of risk factors and annual screenings related to cancer in both men and women, despite US Task Force & Preventive Services Guidelines for common diseases like breast and prostate cancer.

“While the US Task Force Guidelines change frequently, individuals must take control of their own lives. Cancer is a moving target. Your life is valuable. Only you can prevent it. Know your risk factors,” said Dr. Samadi.

Samadi Challenge: A Checklist for Cancer Prevention & Awareness

-Learn your risk factors
Jolie recognized her aggressive family history of breast and ovarian cancer

-Improve your lifestyle and quality of life
Jolie decided for herself and her family, she would commit to early detection and prevention of these cancers common throughout her immediate family history

-Screen annually
Through a simple blood test, Jolie was aware she carried the BRCA 1 gene mutation for breast and ovarian cancer, which revealed an87% risk of breast cancer and 50% of ovarian cancer. She also chose to have the CA125 test for ovarian cancer.

-Treat aggressively
Jolie committed to having a double mastectomy and removal of her ovaries and Fallopian tubes due to her high risk of cancer. She decided to treat her risk factors aggressively, based on what the screenings presented to her. She chose a higher quality of life for herself, her children and her husband Brad Pitt.

Angeline Jolie followed the Samadi Challenge. She took control early on, understood her risk factors and decided she would fight for her quality of life. It was a personal choice for her and it is a personal choice for everyone.

Jolie declared in her New York Times Op-Ed:
"It is not easy to make these decisions. But it is possible to take control and tackle head-on any health issue. You can seek advice, learn about the options and make choices that are right for you. Knowledge is power. It is not possible to remove all risk, but the fact is, I remain prone to cancer. I will look for natural ways to strengthen my immune system. I feel feminine, and grounded in the choices I am making for myself and my family. I know my children will never have to say, 'Mom died of ovarian cancer.'"

She went on to say, “I want women to hear this. I did not just leap to the option of surgery because I carry the BRCA1 gene mutation. There is more than one way to deal with any health issue. The most important thing is to learn about the options and choose what is right for you personally.”

Ovarian cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in women and public knowledge is centered around its occurrence in women 63 years or older. However with an aggressive family history, those statistics are not always concrete, stressing the fact that knowing your risk factors and screening annually is critical.

“The fact is she has an aggressive family history of breast cancer which is directly linked to ovarian cancer as many studies have shown. She chose to recognize her family history as a risk factor and ensure her life would not end the same way. Her courage should be inspiring for not only women out there but also men,” said Dr. Samadi.

Learn more about the Samadi Challenge on SamadiMD.com, WomenforProstateHealth.com and on Facebook: Women for Prostate Health.

Follow Dr. David Samadi on Facebook and Twitter.

Dr. Samadi is a board certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is Chairman of Urology, Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and Professor of Urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is also part of the Fox News Medical A Team as a medical correspondent and the Chief Medical Correspondent for am970 in New York City. He has dedicated his distinguished career to the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and is considered one of the most prominent surgeons in his field. Learn more at roboticoncology.com. Visit Dr. Samadi’s blog at SamadiMD.com.

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