Angelina Jolie: ‘I Had Double Mastectomy Because of High Breast Cancer Risk’

Rucuss staffMay 14, 2013

Actress Angelina Jolie has undergone a preventive double mastectomy.

Jolie revealed the news in an opinion piece titled “My Medical Choice” in The New York Times on Tuesday. She explained that she underwent the breast removal procedure because she has a mutated BRCA1 gene known to raise a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes work in the body to keep DNA stable and to make sure cells don’t grow out of control, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“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. “Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.”

Jolie began the process on Feb. 2 when she underwent a “nipple delay” procedure to make sure there is no breast cancer behind the nipple. The Tomb Raider star completed all the mastectomy procedures on April 27, including breast reconstruction with an implant.

“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy,” Jolie wrote. “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.”

Jolie’s mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. Her mother only lived to meet one of Jolie’s six kids.

Photos via Cupidspulse.com and Listal.com

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