Angelina Jolie has had a double mastectomy

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Angelina Jolie is usually a very private person so imagine my surprise when she wrote an article about having a double mastectomy in the New York Times.

Angelina was incredibly brave writing her op-ed piece in the Times because that is a very intimate thing to know about someone. The main reason for her revelation was to make others aware of the choices you can make if you have are likely to get breast cancer in the future.

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The Lara Croft actress found out that she had 87% chance of getting breast cancer after getting tested. Her mother Marcheline battled with cancer, which finally beat her in 2007. Angelina was devastated at the time so now she has taken a positive step to ensure her six (three adopted, three biological) children don’t suffer the same fate as she did.

Her series of operations lasted three months from February to the end of April and she was seen on the red carpet during that period and we didn’t even think anything was wrong with her! What a trooper.

Jolie, who has been with partner Brad Pitt since 2006, wrote:

“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.”

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She continued: “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.”

She is so brave undergoing this procedure to reduce the risk of getting cancer. I am so proud of her for writing this piece as well.

With children (L-R):

With children (L-R): Vivienne, Shiloh, Knox (Viv’s twin), Zahara, Pax and Maddox.

She explains later in the article why she decided to make this news public.

“I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options. Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”

Go Angelina! What a woman. She is so inspiring. I hope her actions encourage others to get tested and look into their options.

UPDATE: Brad Pitt has responded publicly to her operations by saying: “Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie’s choice, as well as so many others like her, absolutely heroic. I thank our medical team for their care and focus. All I want for is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family.” Bless!

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