Angelina Jolie has revealed that she has undergone a double mastectomy after learning that she carries a gene which predisposes women to breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Jolie, whose doctor estimated that she had an 87% likelihood of contracting breast cancer and a 50% likelihood of contracting ovarian cancer, lost her mother to breast cancer. She made the revelation via The New York Times, saying:
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.
She went on to detail how Brad Pitt was by her side every step of the way.
“Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries,” she says. “We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.
We can’t imagine what an intense few months it’s been for the Jolie-Pitt family. We’re glad to see a woman make pro-active choices and encourage other women to get tested so that they have the option of doing the same.