Humanitarian and actress, Angelina Jolie, recently spoke to The New York Times about her decision to have a double mastectomy to lessen her chances of contracting cancer. Jolie managed to keep her condition under wraps and continued on with her humanitarian efforts around the world, just recently taking a trip to London to attend the G8 summit, in April.
The actress made the decision to go ahead with the surgery after learning that she had an 87% chance of getting cancer and being told that she was the carrier of the BRCA1 cancer gene. Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand died of ovarian cancer at the age of 56. In the editorial piece, “My Medical Choice” for the paper, Jolie said, “My doctors estimated that I had an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.” She went on to say, “Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy.”
During the whole ordeal, Jolie was appreciative of the support of her fiance, Brad Pitt and her children. Now Jolie’s chance of getting breast cancer has been reduced from 87% to 5%, as a result. Jolie said that the decision to have the procedure does not change her as a woman. She told the paper, “On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman.” She added, “I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.” Jolie feels that other woman can benefit from knowing about her experience and she hopes to show woman that they have options when it comes to counteracting what could be a deadly disease.
Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City and a supporter of One Billion Rising