In an article entitled “My Medical Choice” published in The New York Times, the actress wrote that she has undergone this surgery after discovering she carried the BRCA1 gene that increases the risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
Angelina wrote in detail about the surgery she went through, which lasted 8 hours and during which a part of the tissue from the breast was removed. After nine weeks she underwent a breast reconstruction surgery, through implant.
According to the 37-year-old actress, the doctors told her that she presented a risk of 87% to develop breast cancer and a 50% risk for ovarian cancer because of this gene (BRCA1).
“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,” Jolie wrote. “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.”
Angelina Jolie’s mother died at the age of 56, after battling cancer.
“My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56,” the actress writes. “She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.”
Jolie had the full support of her life partner, Brad Pitt, who was constantly by her side during the procedures.
“I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive,” she writes. “So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition.”
“Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. 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,” the actress confides.
The couple have six children, and her decision was taken with the couple’s children in mind.
“I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”