Actress Angelina Jolie wrote in a New York Times op-ed today that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning she had an 87 percent chance of getting breast cancer ad a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. Jolie’s mother died at the age of 56, robbing her of time with her five of her six grandchildren.
Jolie writes that her decision to undergo a mastectomy was swift, after finding out she had the BRCA1 gene, which increased her chance of developing breast cancer exponentially. “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.”
The actress writes that with her fiancee Brad Pitt by her side, she underwent the major part of her surgery this February, which reduced her chances of getting breast cancer to under 5 percent. After the surgery, she had her breasts surgically reconstructed. The whole process, she writes, concluded April 27th.
“I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of life, and to make your own informed choices,” she wrote.