Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie Undergoes Double Mastectomy

Angelina Jolie

Last night in a New York Times op-ed titled “My Medical Choice,” Angelina Jolie made the stunning revelation that she had had a double mastectomy earlier in the year to lower her chances of getting breast cancer, a disease that claimed her mother’s life when she was only 56.

“My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman,” writes Jolie. “Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.”

She adds, “Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.”

Jolie wrote that she made this very public admission to empower and benefit women from her experience. She credits her partner Brad Pitt for his support. Her motivation was to do everything she could to be around as long as possible for her children. Her chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent.

“I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience,” notes Jolie. “Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.”

Jolie’s straightforward and unembellished explanation for getting this procedure is unbelievably inspiring and touching. Already the Twitterverse is at full force with supportive and loving messages. That she has come out so publicly to help other women is nothing short of heroic.

“Life comes with many challenges,” writes Jolie. “The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”

What do you think of this news?


4 responses to “Angelina Jolie Undergoes Double Mastectomy”

  1. Sheryl Avatar

    I think she was brave to announce this, and will hopefully help guide other women in similar predicaments.

  2. […] is the first public appearance the 37-year-old actress has made since announcing that she underwent a preventative double mastectomy in February. And she looks absolutely […]

  3. […] appearances are the first for Jolie, 37, since revealing that she’d had a prophylactic double mastectomy earlier this year. Pitt spoke to Extra last night about how he and Angie have no secrets from their […]

  4. Joice Avatar

    Angelina Jolie turned out to be an inspiring person for all of us and for all the women who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She was brave but also aware of the fact that this disease sometimes can be so cruel.

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