Wow. I’ve only ever been indifferent to Angelina Jolie before today. Yes, she’s beautiful, she’s with Brad Pitt, and she has a show stealing leg. Other than that, I wouldn’t really say I was a huge fan. That all changed this morning. I read a NY Times Opinion article, written by Angelina Jolie herself, explaining her decision to get a double mastectomy.
My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.
Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.
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. 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.
Breast cancer has always been a scary thought, but not until very recently did it directly affect my life and hit close to home. Understandably, many people don’t share too much when they get breast cancer, or any type of disease for that matter. So for Angelina Jolie to keep quiet about the procedure and write this revealing article afterwards is truly amazing. I feel like she’s going to empower lots of women who might be going through the same thing, as well as the partners and other loved ones who are helping someone get through something as scary as cancer.
So, Angelina Jolie, you get all my respect today.