Having a Mastectomy… Prevention against Breast Cancer: A Woman’s Choice – or is it?

Have you ever considered whether we are being controlled by the latest information? – Take Breast Cancer and Mastectomy, for instance.

In the media there has been a lot of discussion around women having a mastectomy (and in some instances, double mastectomies) as a form of prevention against breast cancer. Much of the information being put forward is that women have one of two choices: “Currently, women facing a strong likelihood of developing breast cancer have only two real options – to have both of their breasts removed (a double mastectomy) or hope that it will never actually happen”. (BBC News Online, 14th May 2013)

This stopped me and got me pondering –

Are these really a woman’s only choices?

And if so, what does this do to a woman’s state of being, when both are based on breast cancer being a pre-determined outcome? When people believe they have no power or choice over a situation they begin to feel a sense of hopelessness – this is termed in the psychological world as ‘learned helplessness’ – a condition by which a person feels they have no control over a situation. In this state they behave in a hopeless manner, overlooking any opportunities for a different choice and feeling they have no ability to change (Peterson, 1996).


How many women, due to what is being reported in the media etc, are giving up, thinking that their only choice is having a mastectomy if they want to prevent breast cancer and because of this, are overlooking opportunities for a different choice?

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