Angelina Jolie has revealed she has undergone a preventative double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer. Writing in the New York Times, the 37-year-old said she completed the medical procedures at the end of April and was going public with her story in the hope that “other women can benefit from [her] experience.”
A double mastectomy involves surgery to remove the tissue of both breasts. Angelina Jolie’s mother had battled cancer for a decade and died at the age of 56. She said by having the procedure done, she reduced her risk of breast cancer from 87% down to 5%. Doctors calculated she had an 87% chance of contracting the disease herself as a carrier of the BRCA1 gene.
“For any woman reading this,” she wrote, “I hope it helps you to know you have options.
“I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.”