In a New York Times op-ed piece titled “My Medical Choice,” Angelina Jolie reveals that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy to decrease her risk of contracting breast and ovarian cancer.
The actress began her three months of mastectomy medical procedures on February 2, the last of which took place on April 27.
Angelina writes that she carries a “faulty” gene known as BRCA1, which increases the risks of breast cancer by 87 percent and ovarian cancer by 50 percent.
“Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much as I could,” the actress explains in the article.
She thanks her partner Brad Pitt and their kids for being so loving and supportive throughout—“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.”—she encourages women to be informed about their options.
“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 concludes. “It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.”