Angelina Jolie Undergoes Preventive Double Mastectomy
Right since we spotted that mysterious wedding band (Brad Pitt’s great-grandmother’s ring) on Angie’s ring finger, we’ve been waiting eagerly for the announcement of an official wedding date. But, the recent news reports have a different story to tell. Angelina Jolie has reportedly undergone double mastectomy as a preventive measure against cancer citing the fact that doctors estimated an 87% risk of breast cancer and 50% risk of ovarian cancer.
According to a news write-up titled “My Medical Choice” in New York Times, Angelina Jolie decided to get the mastectomy done after tests ascertained the presence of the faulty BRCA1 gene in the body. The 37 year old actress stated that the BRCA1 cancer gene upped her chances of contracting breast cancer to 87%. Besides, Angelina’s mother Marcheline Bertrand succumbed to ovarian cancer at the age of 56. Thus, the actress disclosed that she was genetically predisposed to develop ovarian cancer.
However, Angelina Jolie went on to clarify that the percentage of risk varies form woman to woman. She said, “Only a fraction of breast cancers results from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in the BRCA1 gene have a 65% risk of getting it on an average.”
She added, “Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much as 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.”
The Tomb Raider actress chose to keep the news of the medical treatment under wraps till it was finished. She also did not take a break from work during the treatment. The starlet completed 3 months of medical procedures and treatments on April 26th. Doctors suggest that the surgery was successful and has lowered Angie’s chances of breast cancer from 87% to less than 5%.
Preventive mastectomy is a medical procedure wherein the entire breast or only the breast tissue is removed. The actress underwent a procedure called subcutaneous mastectomy in which only the breast tissues are removed while the nipples are kept intact.
Though the Oscar winning actress decided to keep her decision private in the beginning, she revealed that she was writing now so as to inspire other women to make the right decision. Her aim is also to dispel the doubts and myths that surrounded cancer.
She said “I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a sense of powerlessness. But, today, it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer and then take action.”
Angelina Jolie has a large family of six children. She admits the decision was not an easy one to make, but she made it for the sake of her children for she always wanted to be around for them. Angelina had lost her own mother to ovarian cancer in 2007 and knows the immense pain it causes. After undergoing the preventive mastectomy procedure she now beams with pride, “I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”
Angelina thanked and praised her fiancé Brad Pitt and their six children – Maddox (11), Pax (9), Zahara (8), Shiloh (6) and 4 year old twins Vivienne and Knox for the love and support during every minute of the treatment. Speaking about Brad she said,
“I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition.”
We wish you good health and a speedy recovery Angie!