Angelina Jolie Opens up about her Double Mastectomy

Angelina Jolie reveals she underwent a double mastectomy as a preventive measure against breast cancer. 

photo:people.com

Jolie reveals she had the surgery after discovering she carried a gene that made it extremely likely she would get breast cancer. Angelina made the announcement in the form of a op-ed she authored for the New York Times called “My Medical Choice.”  In there she disclosed why she made the decision and details about when she started the procedure.

“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.” “They have asked if the same could happen to me.”

Jolie said that after genetic testing, she learned she carried the BRCA1 gene and had an 87 percent chance of getting the disease.  She also wanted to keep the process private, and the reason she wrote about it was to help 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 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”

She continues with details of the procedure. “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.” Two weeks later where her breast tissue was removed, she said 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.”

She then writes about how the surgery has affected her. “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.”

We praise you Angelina. You will always be our kick-ass hero!

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