Posted on May 14, 2013   Categories: Latest News8 Comments

Angelina Jolie says that she has had a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carried a gene that made it extremely likely she would get breast cancer.

The Oscar-winning actress and partner to Brad Pitt made the announcement in the form of an op-ed she authored for Tuesday’s New York Times under the headline, “My Medical Choice.” She writes that between early February and late April she completed three months of surgical procedures to remove both breasts.

Jolie, 37, writes that she made the choice with thoughts of her six children after watching her own mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, die too young from cancer.

“My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56,” Jolie 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.”

She writes that, “They have asked if the same could happen to me.”

Jolie said that after genetic testing she learned she carries the “faulty” BRCA1 gene and had an 87 per cent chance of getting the disease herself.

She said she has kept the process private so far, but wrote about with hopes of helping other women.

“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made,” Jolie writes. “My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 per cent to under 5 per cent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”

Phone and email messages left by The Associated Press late Monday night seeking comment from Jolie representatives were not immediately returned.

She is anything but private in the details she provides, giving a description of the procedures.
“My own process began on Feb. 2 with a procedure known as a ‘nipple delay,’” she writes, “which rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area.”

She then describes the major surgery two weeks later where breast tissue was removed, saying it felt “like a scene out of a science-fiction film,” then writes that nine weeks later she had a third surgery to reconstruct the breasts and receive implants.”

Many women have chosen preventive mastectomy since genetic screening for breast cancer was developed, but the move and public announcement is unprecedented from a star so young and widely known as Jolie.
She briefly addresses the effects of the surgery on the idealized sexuality and iconic womanhood that have fuelled her fame.

“I do not feel any less of a woman,” Jolie writes. “I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

She also wrote that Brad Pitt, her partner of eight years, was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Southern California for “every minute of the surgeries.”

Bertrand, Jolie’s mother, died in January 2007. She had small roles in the movies “Lookin’ to Get Out” in 1982 and “The Man Who Loved Women” in 1983. She raised Jolie and her brother after divorcing their father, Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight, when Jolie was a toddler.

Jolie has appeared in dozens of films including 2010’s “The Tourist” and “Salt,” the “Tomb Raider” films, and 1999’s “Girl, Interrupted,” for which she won an Academy Award.

But she has appeared more often in the news in recent years for her power coupling with Pitt and her charitable work with refugees as a United Nations ambassador.

Source: The Star

  • May 14Khaled Hassan says:  

    You are wonderful with so kind heart, everyday you learn us new leason to how we can live our life and help other people to face problems, I think start to write your life story will be usefel for all people, to know how fantastic Angelina change her life and share that with all world. Love you so much, and hope to see you soon in my country “Egypt”

  • May 14parigot says:  

    Bon courage.
    L’essentiel est invisible avec les yeux, on ne voit bien qu’avec le Coeur (St Exupery)

  • May 14Sean says:  

    I’m so sorry for your loss, but why would you do such a thing?! There are many other natural solutions to breast cancer. But you chop off your breasts based on “maybe, you might get cancer”. Thats ignorant. I think you made the wrong choice. You could’ve kept your breasts.

    It’s up to you what you do with your body but there is no way that I’d undergo surgery based on a hypothetical. Especially when theres already several cures for breast cancer; Cannabis, Mushrooms and Epigenetics.

    What a terrible loss.

  • May 15Antonietta Gatti says:  

    I do not discuss the choice of Ms Jolie, but the suggestion of her medical doctors. They do not know the origin of the cancer, so without any certain proof they mutilate a woman. They act against any ethical code. I hope that at least there was some points of calcification in the breast tissues explanted to give a sort of an objective reason for the mastectomy. For my experiernce as nanopathologist, namely expert of pathologies due to the biological interaction with nanoparticles (nanosized pollution) I see , in breast cancerogenic tissues, the presence of nanosized foreign bodies coming from external environmental pollution, pollution of smoking etc.
    That means that the exposure is personal and the Jolie’s mother cancer probably was due to an exposure that is not shared with the daughter. In order not to have the Ms. Jolie sacrifice vane, I offer to analyze the breast explanted tissue in order to identify, if it is the case, the presence of a pollution already existing. Dr. Antonietta Gatti , Nanodiagnostics, Italy,;

  • May 16Janet Schuler says:  

    I was blindsided with stage III-C ovarian cancer at age 43. I have no family history of breast or ovarian cancer nor did I have any other risk factors for this disease. I ate fairly healthy, ran a few times a week and was one year away from completing my masters degree as a family nurse practitioner. A cancer diagnosis was the furthest thing from my mind when I began have symptoms of mild bloating, gas and change in bowel habits.

    Ovarian cancer is the DEADLIEST of all gynecological cancers. Ms. Jolie has first hand knowledge of the destruction ovarian cancer leaves after watching her mother fight this dreadful disease. I applaud Ms. Jolie’s resolve to make such a difficult decision as well as her courage to go public with a very private matter.

    I do not carry the BRCA mutation, but if I had, you can rest assured that I would have had prophylactic surgery to greatly reduce my chances of developing breast and or ovarian cancer. Like I said, I was blind-sided by this disease. I pray that I will live long enough to see my girls grow up and hope that someday (very soon) we will see the morbidity and mortality rates ovarian cancer improve much like they have for breast cancer.

  • Jun 02Adele Jones says:  

    I thank you for bringing truth of Double Mastectomy being a preventative for Breast Cancer. I had the same operation in 1983 & there was such a stigma against breast enhancements that people (even my family) could not see my reason for doing it. They saw it as vanity rather than wanting to live a life with less fear & being there for my children for as long as I could. Unless you have lived with the fear you cannot possibly understand the desperation it creates to just want to live. In 2003 I had to have a hysterectomy because of low level cancer cells in all my reproductive organs. It’s a long life if you pick up on the health threats but a short one if you ignore them.
    You live life to learn & the learning never stops. Thank you for easing the stigma I have been living for all these years.

  • Jun 04Podcast: Fallopian Tubes as Culprits | The Vancouver Sun Podcasts says:  

    […] Angelina Jolie’s revelation recently that she has a genetic mutation and had her breasts removed to prevent cancer has everyone thinking about cancer prevention strategies. […]

  • Jun 05indira says:  

    Hey, i want to tell you about a women in serbia. Im writing from sweden the time is four in the morning,and i cant sleep. Im thinking of this women. June the 3 2013 she went on a bus to a bigger town to remove her both breast, she doesnt have a daughter or a son to help her to be there for her. She is not alone, but it’s like she is alone because her husband does not care. She went on the bus all alone,she had to struggle with her fare all alone. I think angelina, is a very lucky women.she have her husbwnd by her side and her friends. Its crazy i cant sleep, thinking of this women. When a twlked to her she was crying like a baby. Saying to me thank you indira calling me fromsweden. It means the hole world to me. When she told me she sat on the bus alone, i felt my tears and in a second it hurt so hard in my heart. She couldnt made the surrgery because she was afraid and the doctors had to wait. She said i am alone, after the surrgery i do not have someone by my side who will help and be a support to me. I don’t want to feel like she felt sitting on the bus to take away her both breast because of the stupid cancer. She was strong about her cancer,she knows she must be strong for that.but my heart cries for her because it’s painfull to meet something like this knowing this person doesnt have any support from her husband or friends. Because carying about someone meens, be there for a person in sickness and health. ANGELINA I WANT TO THANK YOU TELLING YOUR STORY TO THE WORLD. BE STRONG AND THANKFULL HAVING YOUR HUSBANR AND FRIENDS BY YOUR SIDE. I JUST WANTED TO TELL ABOUT this sad story.

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