May 14th, 2013
11:20 PM ET

Angelina Jolie reveals double mastectomy

In an op-ed in the New York Times, world famous actress and activist Angelina Jolie announced her decision to remove her breasts to prevent cancer. Through a blood test, doctors found she carries the BRCA1 gene, which increases her risk of getting ovarian cancer and breast cancer.

She writes, "Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could." After three months of private medical procedures, Jolie decided to reveal what she went through to encourage other women facing a similar dilemma. She recognizes it's not an easy decision to make.

Jolie details the operations and procedures that ended with breast reconstruction. "There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful," she explains.

She also addresses a concern that resonates with many women. "I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity."

Sharing how it affected her family, Jolie writes that her partner, Brad Pitt, was an important part of the process. Through his love and support, it brought them closer together.

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Filed under: Cancer • Medical News
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