Angelina made the courageous decision after learning she had an 87 percent chance of getting breast cancer. Her mom, Marcheline Bertrand, lost a brave battle with cancer in 2007. Angelina wanted to make sure that her children wouldn’t lose their mother at a young age like she did.
On April 27, Angelina Jolie finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. In that time, she kept this private and carried on with her work. Now, in an effort to inspire and encourage every woman to seek out information and medical experts who can help, Angelina, 37, documents her experience in a New York Times op-ed piece called “My Medical Choice.”
Angelina Jolie Gets Double Mastectomy
“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy,” Angelina said in the column appearing May 14. “But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”
Angelina’s Mother Died Of Breast Cancer
Angelina’s mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, died at age 56 in 2007 after a long battle with cancer.
Ultimately, it was her children that inspired Angelina to take action. The actress often talked to her kids, Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Viv and Knox, about “mommy’s mommy,” and tried to explain the illness that took Marcheline from them. When the children feared that the same illness would take their own mother, Angelina often told them not to worry, but the truth is she carried a “faulty gene.” The Salt actress says that tests found she had a “faulty gene,” known as BRCA1. Doctors gave her an 87 percent risk of getting breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of getting ovarian cancer. It was then that she decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much she could.
After many procedures, Angelina received plastic surgery to reconstruct her breasts and now her six children ”see nothing that makes them uncomfortable,” she says.
“They can see my small scars and that’s it,” she writes. “Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can.”
Angelina Jolie Hopes To Encourage Women
“On a personal note,” she continues, “I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity. 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 your life, and to make your own informed choices. Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”
Fellow actress Christina Applegate had a similar procedure in 2008. She also had a mutation of the BRCA1 gene.
There’s nothing better than using star power for the well being of others. Angelina has an enormous platform and she’s using it draw awareness to breast cancer and preventative measures — we commend her for this.
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Don’t you think Angelina is brave?
— Chris Rogers
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