Angelina Jolie Announces She Has Undergone Preventive Double Mastectomy
In an op-ed piece to be published in Tuesdayâ€™s New York Times, actressAngelina Jolie has announced that she recently completed a preventive double mastectomy. In the piece, the actress explains that the procedures have decreased her chances of getting breast cancer, from 87% to 5%, and that she feels â€śempowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.â€ť
Jolie says she is sharing her experience now in hopes that other women can benefit from it.
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.
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.
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.
On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work.
Jolie goes on to describe, in detail, the procedures, including a reconstruction that she says â€ścan be beautiful.â€ť She also praised husband Brad Pittfor his support, and advised â€śanyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition.â€ť
In December of 2011, oddly enough, E! correspondent Giuliana Rancicannounced that she would undergo double mastectomy surgery, and went straight from that announcement to an interview withâ€¦ Angelina Jolie.
Read the full op-ed here.