Angelina Jolie has double mastectomy

Actress confirms procedure after 87% cancer risk


Angelina Jolie has had a double mastectomy after learning there was an 87% chance she would develop breast cancer, she has revealed.

The star – who it transpires continued to work in the public eye during her treatment, speaking out about violence against women and children at the G8 summit in London last month – had the procedure in February after learning she was a carrier of the BRCA1 cancer gene. She lost her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, at the age of 56 to ovarian cancer, which Angelina revealed she also has a 50% chance of contracting.


‘Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65% risk of getting it, on average. Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could,’ she wrote in a piece entitled My Medical Choice for the New York Times. ‘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.’

She had her breasts removed in February of this year, and reconstructive surgery followed in April. Her chances of contracting breast cancer have now been reduced to 5%.

'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,’ she continued. ‘It is my hope that they, too, will be will able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.

‘Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.'

In the article she also praised the support of her long-term partner, Brad Pitt, and their children Maddox, 11, Pax, nine, Zahara, eight, Shiloh, six, and four-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, saying: ‘We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.’

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