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"Prophylactic mastectomy" & "boob job"

13 Jun 2019 01:39

Was a bit sad to hear a rather immature young lady interviewed by Radio 1 Newsbeat about having a prophylactic mastectomy when not once in the excerpt did it get referred to as such.  The young lady used "boob job" throughout, even giggling while telling her story as if it was no big deal.  I'm sure the intention of the segment was good, but sadly that didn't come across.

I have written to the BBC very politely, rather than a complaint, and just suggested that when it is obvious their interviewee isn't particularly mature (as evidenced by giggling and lack of use of medical terminology) that it would be a good idea to ensure a medical professional also contributes to the segment.  I mean seriously, to have the phrase "boob job" said numerous times but "prophylactic mastectomy" not even said once.  Even they must know that "boob job" is synonymous with "vanity" in today's society and so to use that term for preventing a deadly disease is a bit too flippant.

In case they're not aware of why it's an issue I have pointed out that women are getting abuse for having prophylactic mastectomies, being told they're vain and just wanting a boob job on the NHS.  Rather upsetting when what they're facing is major surgery they could have done without and, usually, a relative already going through treatment for breast cancer (having led to them getting genetically screened in the first place).  Sadly even some women who already have cancer are given abuse for having a mastectomy with it again being referred to flippantly as a boob job on the NHS.

Here's hoping all such media in the future is a bit more careful to understand that the use of flippant terminology just leads to women being abused for making sensible medical decisions.

"Prophylactic mastectomy" & "boob job"

14 Jun 2019 20:23 in response to TwinTwo

Hi Twintwo

I didn't hear the interview that you're referring to but from your description I can understand why you were left feeling saddened by it. 

I hope that you receive some constructive feedback to your correspondance with the BBC and programme makers. We'll be interested to hear what they have to say about the points that you've raised. 

Best wishes, 
Cancer Chat moderator

"Prophylactic mastectomy" & "boob job"

15 Jun 2019 01:30 in response to TwinTwo


Hi Twin Two,

I didn’t hear this broadcast either, but I think that I would have felt as upset as you by the terminology used.

I hope that you make the team behind this programme think a little more before presenting any similar programmes in the future. Having lost my mum to cancer and, having had 2 bouts of breast cancer in the same breast and, found a large benign lump in the other for which I had a prophylactic mastectomy, I would have been incensed to hear my surgery referred to as a ‘boob job’.

Do please let us know if you get a reply, as I am curious to see how they try to justify this.

I hope that you are keeping a little better.

Kind regards,

Jolamine xx