Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie revealed that she has had a "preventive double mastectomy" after discovering that she carries what she describes as "a 'faulty' gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer." She explained her risks and reasons in an Opinion Page piece in The New York Times.
Part of her decision was losing her mother to breast cancer and the time she hopes to have with her children.
"It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable," she wrote in the Times. "They can see my small scars and that's it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, 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.
Actor Brad Pitt called his fiance's decision "heroic" and told the London Evening Standard, "All I want for is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family."
First Published May 14, 2013 2:00 PM