In honor of National Women’s Health Week (May 12-18), Good Vibrations want to also wish you Happy Masturbation Month and give a huge shout out to Angelina Jolie who bravely underwent a preventative double mastectomy after doctors revealed she had a 87% chance of getting breast cancer.
Jolie found out she was at risk because she took an expensive test that proved she had the BRCA gene which just happens to be ‘owned’ by a company called Myriad Genetics. Yes that’s right, a company that not only produces the test screening procedure also patented the human genes in the late 1990’s. There are hearings scheduled for June in the Supreme Court to decide whether a company can claim a patent on a human gene.
Kudos to Jolie for using her celebrity to bring this discussion into every house and every bedroom with headline news in one single action. She wrote an Op-Ed piece for the NY Times stating that more women should have access to this test and singlehandedly brought some focus to a women’s health issue that results in over 40,000 deaths/year in the United States. Approximately 28,000 men will die of prostate cancer each year and less than 400 men will die of testicular cancer each year comparatively.
The price of the gene testing will hopefully be forced to come down with new health care and insurance reforms so more women can have access to these life-saving tests. Angelina Jolie’s mother died of cancer after a 10 year battle. She stated in her Op-Ed piece that she wanted to be around as long as possible for her children and lessen the probability from 87% to less than 5% of contracting the disease. Awareness and access is key to survival as well as funded research and focus on medical advances in treatment, surgeries, and life expectancy rates
Good Vibrations believes that accurate sexual health education is paramount for overall health and well-being and the latest information should be accessible to all adults who ask for it. We also believe that pleasure is your birthright and ownership of your body and health choices is not just a privilege, but a right just like access to accurate sexual health information. We started National Masturbation Month in 1995 as a response to Surgeon General Joycelyn Elder’s firing after publicly discussing that masturbation was a normal healthy activity and should be included in sexual health curriculum. This month we tip our hat to Ms. Elders and to Ms. Jolie for bringing the conversations into the limelight.
Photo: AP Press via news.com.au