Angelina Jolie has revealed that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy earlier this year in an op-ed for the New York Times called “My Medical Choice.”
Between February and April Jolie, 37, underwent three surgeries to remove both of her breasts because she learned after having genetic testing that she has the “faulty” BRCA1 gene and had an 87 percent chance of getting breast cancer like her mother Marcheline Bertrand who died in January 2007.
“My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56,” Jolie writes. “She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.”
“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made,” Jolie writes. “My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”
Jolie goes on to share intimate details of the surgical procedures saying it felt “like a scene out of a science-fiction film” and that she feels “empowered that [she] made a strong choice that in no way diminishes [her] femininity.”