Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Angelina Jolie Undergoes Preventative Double Mastectomy

Today an article written by Angelina Jolie  appeared in The New York Times: The Opinion Page revealing that she underwent a preventative mastectomy after being told she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and 50 percent chance of ovarian cancer. Jolie's mom, Marchline Bertrand, had a long fight with cancer which resulted in her death at the age of 56 in 2007.
"...the truth is I carry a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
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."
Angelina saw a double mastectomy as her only option for herself and family.
"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."
Today shes telling her personal story for other women who are or may become familiar with her situation.
 "But I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience."
"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. 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."

Angelina Jolie is not the first, and probably not the last, celebrity to undergo a double mastectomy. Sharon Osbourne underwent the preventative procedure last year and Miss DC Allyn Rose announced earlier this year that after serving her last year as Miss DC she too plans to have a double mastectomy due to a different rare genetic mutation that she carries. 

Wishes of success go out to Angelina Jolie and any other women affected by this same situation.

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