Tags: schwartz | double | mastectomy | surgery

Dr. Schwartz: Women Shouldn't Let Jolie's Surgery Decision Spook Them

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Tuesday, 14 May 2013 07:21 PM

Angelina Jolie's jolting revelation that she underwent a preventative double mastectomy shouldn't frighten women who are worried they may have a similar issue, according to leading patients advocate Dr. Erika Schwartz.

"My advice to them is to really find a good doctor, work with a good doctor, not react,'' Schwartz told "The Steve Malzberg Show'' on Newsmax TV.

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"Get information, see if it applies to you, take care of yourself.''

The Oscar-winning actress and wife of Brad Pitt made her decision public Tuesday in a heartfelt New York Times opinion piece.

She said she decided on the radical move after learning she carried a gene that made it extremely likely she would be diagnosed with breast cancer. So from February to April, she completed three months of surgery to remove both breasts.

But Schwartz — an expert on bio-identical hormones and author of "The Hormone Solution'' — emphasized that women should not immediately compare themselves with Jolie's circumstances.

"Understand that you are unique and that statistics may or may not apply to you,'' she said.

"Your life should be about taking care of yourself and really taking care of your children and not being scared. It’s about quality of life.

"That’s the important thing, that we’re missing out on it a lot because we're so afraid and we're so obsessed with fear.''

In the Times, Jolie wrote: "I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent."

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Jolie lost her mother Marcheline Bertrand from ovarian cancer in 2007 after a 10 year battle with the disease.

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