Tuesday morning’s headlines about Angelina Jolie have brought the breast cancer discussion to the table for everyone.
And while most of us know someone who has won their battle with breast cancer, and medical science can do more than ever to cure the disease, many women still lose. And a lot of women already know they can be tested for the gene most responsible for causing breast cancer.
But Tuesday, because someone who is a household name and Hollywood A-lister has taken matters into her own hands and aggressively, officially disarmed the disease, you can bet that women across the country will want to know how they can do it too.
The science is readily available. The surgery is neither new, nor cutting edge. But the biggest stumbling block for most women won’t be the act of asking for a preventive mastectomy.
It will be the cost.
Insurance companies have yet to embrace, for the most part, personalize medicine like the kind Angelina Jolie just went out and got. For most of us, the answer to the question, “Can I have what she is having,” is, “No.”
Yet, because of genetic research, doctors are now able to treat the specific subtype of a particular disease and their rates of success keep going up. Pretty soon, we will have a test for just about every kind of cancer and doctors will be able to predict with certainty whether or not you ill get it. Maybe they’ll even know WHEN you will get it.
Will your insurance company pay for that test? We have to hope so.
In the end, it will cost less to treat us all.