Angelina Jolie wrote in the New York Times on Tuesday that she had a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of getting breast cancer. Hollywood star stated she hopes to inspire other women fighting the life-threatening disease. “I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. ” More over she says that the operation had made it easier for her to reassure her six children that she will not die young from cancer, like her own mother did at 56.
“We often speak of ‘Mommy’s mommy’, and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me,” wrote Jolie, 37. The Oscar-winning actress said her doctors had estimated she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.
“I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a ‘faulty’ gene.”
“Once I knew this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much as I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy,” she said.
Partner and fellow Hollywood star Brad Pitt was by Jolie’s side through three months of treatment that ended late in April, she said. The two got engaged last year.
Jolie said that even though she had kept silent about her treatment while it was going on, she always thought her story would now help other women.”It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested.”
Breast cancer alone kills about 458,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization. It is estimated that one in 300 to one in 500 women carry a BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation, as Jolie does.