Angelina Jolie has double mastectomy

2013-05-14 08:30
New York – Angelina Jolie revealed in the New York Times that she's had a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of developing cancer, reports The Telegraph.

Jolie decided to speak out about her operation, which she completed on 27 April after three months of medical procedures, so other women can benefit from her experience.

Jolie, 37, made the proactive decision to have a double mastectomy because she carries a faulty gene, making her more likely to suffer from breast and ovarian cancer.

Jolie, whose mother died aged 56 after fighting cancer for almost 10 years, wrote: "Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimise the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy.

"I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex."

Jolie added that her "loving and supportive" fiance Brad Pitt was by her side throughout the three-month process this year to remove breast tissue and replace it with implants.

The mother of six was told by doctors the she carried the faulty gene, known as BRCA1, meaning she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer.

Read Angelina Jolie's New York Times piece "My Medical Choice" here.

Comments

  • Lauren Schumann Pelati - 2013-05-14 09:01

    Wow, she is very brave!!

      Lynda Smith - 2013-05-14 13:15

      I know somebody who thought she could control it with 6month check ups... what followed was 3 years of hell and her finally dying a painful death. NOBODY has the right to question Angelina's decision or call it "stupid" because it is HER body, HER right to choose, and HER right to live. Saying that the success rate of breast cancer is higher is just plain ignorant - because while the "success rate" is higher their are still people dying undignified and painful deaths. Have you two idiots even SEEN a person going through Chemo or Radium Therapy? Have you ever held a person's hand and watch the fear in their eyes? Why? Just so that two mammaries can be "saved"? I will do ANYTHING to spare myself that pain and suffering and if it means that I must take preventative measures like having my breasts removed or having a hysterectomy - I will! And NO man has the right to call this measure a "waste" or the decision "stupid". You sirs are BOTH insensitive morons!

      Bullet Proof - 2013-05-14 16:21

      So what!!!!

      Lyndatjie - 2013-05-14 18:48

      @Marco - your argument astounds me. If you see a car coming - you move out of the way, if you see a hijacker coming - you speed off... its called preventative measures done in the interest of survival. Its not written in the stars what will happen to you - your fate is not pre-ordained.. There is you, your common sense and your survival instinct. tsk tsk...

      Lyndatjie - 2013-05-14 18:50

      Oh and one more think Marco... she didn't THROW it out there, she shared her information for those women who are too scared to take this drastic step towards our own survival because of self-opinionated judgemental people like you who should respect people for making their own decisions.

      Mathilda Williams - 2013-05-14 22:58

      @Andre Van Deventer: its best not to speak when you know nothing about an issue. @Marco Rossi: no woman wants to have breast cancer. The treatment is brutal and painful, and it could stretch into a year/years long ordeal. As for the success rate.....it may have improved drastically, but in America alone, almost 40 000 women a year still die as a result of breast cancer. Those are scary numbers, even in a country where the very best treatment options exist. Just be quiet about something you know nothing about, you sound better when you say nothing.

      Lyndatjie - 2013-05-15 04:53

      And there you have it Marco... proof that you didn't read the article correctly or able to comprehend what you read. Its coming - she only has a 13% chance of NOT being hit.. 87% is not nothing - the car and hijacker is there. Constantly following you, dodging your every footstep. Fear becomes your daily companion and the source of your nigthly terrors... adrenalin coursing through your body... so now you have stress lowering your immune system which makes you even a bigger target... why on earth put yourself through this? Why constantly looking over your shoulder because you know its out there? Why would you fear every lump, every twinge of pain, every stab of muscle spasm? Where is your quality of life? 87% means its coming - because you only have a 13% chance of it missing you by inches. Only an IDIOT goes and stands in the middle of the highway and hopes that no car hits you. Would you go and rip asbestos off the wall without a mask on - because you have a whole full 13% chance of NOT breathing in the fibres and getting lung cancer? So again I say... its HER body, HER right to choose and HER right to live. NOBODY has the right to criticize that OR call her decision stupid. Get off your selfish high horse and respect the way she's taken control of her life and her future. She is an inspiration to those of us too scared to take the plunge because of people like you making a woman feel guilty for trying to survive a horrible disease.

      Cor En Lauriette Bredenhann - 2013-05-15 09:49

      Marco until your wife is diagnosed with cancer we speak again. We were lucky my wife were diagnosed very early and she is responding very well, the statistics are not that favourable for late detection full recovery is only 3.5% to 5% of all cases whether you do chemo or alternative treatment.

      Hot Pants - 2013-05-15 12:51

      This has to be the best excuse for cosmetic surgery I have heard of in my life...well done!!!

  • Andrew Selous - 2013-05-14 09:08

    she is brave.no women wants this.

  • Esme Jacobs - 2013-05-14 09:10

    Brave woman.

  • Denise Jenkins - 2013-05-14 09:23

    As a fellow BRCA1 carrier - the best decision I ever made was to have this operation done. I have lost 4 close family members to Breast or Ovarian Cancer ranging in age from 29 to 44. For me it was a no brainer to have this done once it was confirmed that I carried the BRCA1. Please remember that only 5% of cancers are hereditary so only ask to be tested for BRCA1 if you have close family members who have been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer at a young age.

      Aeon Lamour - 2013-05-15 09:15

      Hats off to you Denise! You are a brave woman. I would do the exact same thing were I in your shoes.

  • Stefan Van Der Spuy - 2013-05-14 09:58

    She should have waited and gone to Germany if she got cancer. There are clinics in Germany where they can cure cancer without surgery.

      Aeon Lamour - 2013-05-15 09:17

      Well aren't you just Mr know it all today.. Don't you think she would've done her research?

      Stefan Van Der Spuy - 2013-05-15 11:04

      I've done my research...

  • Stig De - 2013-05-14 10:25

    ok

  • Beverly Young - 2013-05-14 10:38

    Brave woman. Female cancer is passed on and 99.9% 'daughters' etc carry the disease and will suffer. I have friends who have done this as well and I salute in awe at their bravery. She needs care and massive nutrition in order to stave off the possible onset. Bravo!

  • Mandy Ferreira - 2013-05-14 10:46

    I have a friend that also had a double mastectomy. They reconstructed a new set of boobs. They look awesome and sexy. Technology today is great.

      Sluipstap Pretorius - 2013-05-14 11:48

      Dear Mandy, I also had a double mastectomy last year with reconstruction at the age of 35 after breast cancer diagnosis. Most people do not have a clue what if feels like when they tell you you have cancer, the fear and terror that haunts you every second of the day. The minute i woke up after the operation i felt at peace because i knew it was gone. When you are faced with such a difficult case you make the right decision even if it is the hard one. The worst part of having the cancer was to see my parents, husband and family suffer, they suffer the most and its horrible to see them go through this and you cannot do anything to put them to peace. I would encourage ladies to do it, its much better to save your own life than to hang on to something that might kill you and take you away from your loved ones!

      Mandy Ferreira - 2013-05-14 15:24

      Sluipstap It must be the hardest decision to make. But then the hardest decisions are normally the right one. My friend went through a very difficult time during and after. Best wishes to you.

  • Kathy Burger Hellyar - 2013-05-14 11:36

    Brave woman.

  • John Smith - 2013-05-14 11:55

    Anyone else I would say brave woman, well done. But Angelina Jolie, I have to be cynical and think cancer prevention or breast augmentation?

  • Christina De Carvalho - 2013-05-14 13:27

    Preventative....will she convince her daughter to have her breasts removed to avoid BC?

      Fanie Gerber - 2013-05-14 16:00

      Indeed- please note SHE DID NOT HAVE CANCER

      Denise Jenkins - 2013-05-14 19:06

      Christina I wish you would read the risk percentages if you carry the BRCA1 gene. If you had lost your Mom, your Aunt , and 2 of your sisters who where aged between 29 and 44 would you still comment as above. If you then test BRCA1 positive and have 85% chance of getting breast cancer at a young age I bet you would also have preventative surgery. I have passed this genetic fault on to both my daughters. They are well informed and are appropriately monitored. When they have had their children I am sure they will also have preventative surgery. Please consider the facts before making insensitive comments.

  • James Blacksmith - 2013-05-14 15:35

    What 'bravery' is this? She's breast-fed (I assume) and her breasts are now suffering the consequences. Now she's getting the equivalent of a boob job? Are woman who want new breasts also brave? I have no issue with removing your breasts to prevent cancer, but this is a woman who has undergone plastic surgery/s in the past. Please don't hail her as some sort of idol or woman my wife/daughters should aspire to. She's a nutjob.

      Denise Jenkins - 2013-05-14 19:08

      James I wish you would read the risk percentages if you carry the BRCA1 gene. If you had lost your Mom, your Aunt , and 2 of your sisters who where aged between 29 and 44 would you still comment as above. If you then test BRCA1 positive and have 85% chance of getting breast cancer at a young age I bet you would also have preventative surgery. I have passed this genetic fault on to both my daughters. They are well informed and are appropriately monitored. When they have had their children I am sure they will also have preventative surgery. Please consider the facts before making insensitive comments.

      James Blacksmith - 2013-05-14 22:46

      @Denise I in no way question preventative surgery. Why would I? Jolie however is as a horrible role model for any woman, young or old. http://education.makemeheal.com/index.php/Jolie%2C_Angelina I question whether her pre-op breasts were real in the first place, thus making this entire 'double mastectomy' moot, in fact making it quite a farce. And no, I couldn't quite care about whether someone has plastic surgery, but I do find it particularly annoying when someone pretends to be something they're not and then expects other woman to live up to that standard. It is one thing to hide the fact you've had plastic surgery, it is another to make unabashed claims you're all natural...

  • Nadine Hobkirk - 2013-05-14 21:15

    That's the Pitts!

  • HJS - 2013-05-14 21:25

    It would appear to be a brave but drastic decision. Without for one moment minimizing the possible impact of such a drastic step and acknowledging the reality of the dangers of breast cancer -- the cynic in me gave rise to the first thought --- "She has not been in the news or limelight much lately" Is this a very calculated "choice" to grab some headlines for a change?

  • Sophia Barnes - 2013-05-15 01:41

    I find some of the comments on here so completely ignorant and lacking in empathy. On the other hand, those of us who were touched by cancer and/or the risk of it are a tough lot, even if we are sad at times. Yes, and I would not wish the suffering on any of you who express your glib opinions on someone's mother, sister, daughter, wife.

  • Leaproach TheKeeper - 2013-05-15 08:52

    Hmmmm....she and, was it Kid Rock, also wore vials of each other's blood around their necks when they were a couple. Bit cuckoo methinks.

  • Hein Smit - 2013-05-15 09:07

    Well done Angelina for making women aware of this. It has proven to prevent cancer in women with this genes.

  • Cina - 2013-05-15 12:05

    One would think she is the first and only woman that had a double mastectomy, there is how many other ladies that also had it done and nothing gets said about that. I think it is just a nice way of having a boobjob and let the world know, that it is not cosmetic.

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