Inspirational: Angelina Jolie Shares Her Story About Having a Preventative Double Mastectomy


(Photo by Getty)

Angelina Jolie (Getty)
This morning, The New York Times ran a shocking yet truly inspiring story titled "My Medical Choice," a very personal op-ed piece written by Angelina Jolie, in which the actress reveals she recently made the difficult decision to undergo a preventative double masectomy.

In the article, the actress chronicles the past three months of her medical procedures, detailing everything from her family history of cancer (her mother died from the disease at the age of 56) to learning from doctors that she also carried the BRCA1 gene—a "faulty" gene that greatly increases a woman's risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Her doctors estimated that she personally (the percentage differs for each woman) had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. "Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could," she writes.

From there, she describes the experience in true-to-form detail—the pain, the bruising, and the integral part her family played during the trying time. She writes:
"I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has."
It's such a touching story and certainly inspirational for all women who've been affected by breast cancer, which we're betting is all of you in some way—the disease kills 458,000 people each year, as Jolie cites. Also, it's pretty incredible that she was able to go through all this in total privacy, and thankfully so. Because of the preventative measures, her chances of developing breast cancer are now less than 5 percent.

If you do anything today, pop over to NYTimes.com to read the rest of her article. It's a must.
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