E! News reports that Angelina Jolie’s aunt, Debbie Martin, passed away on Sunday after battling breast cancer for years. The 61-year-old woman had the same BRCA1 defective gene which determined the actress to get a double mastectomy to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, Fox News informs.
Debbie Martin was Angelina Jolie’s aunt, on her mother’s side. Martin passed away on Sunday after her body became too frail to fight breast cancer. According to her husband, Ron Martin, Debbie had the same cancer gene BRCA1 that Angelina Jolie discovered during a recent medical checkup. Ron further stated that his wife would have performed the same operation as Angelina Jolie, had they known about the defective gene.
The death of her aunt represents another reason for Angelina Jolie to be proud of her decision to get a double mastectomy. The actress discovered she has the defective gene BRCA1 which could have led to breast cancer, which is why she decided to have her breast tissue removed. The risk of developing breast cancer was thus diminished from 87% to almost 5%.
Jolie revealed the medical procedure she has been through during a special editorial that was published on New York Times. She justified her decision by telling readers that she didn’t want her children to suffer as much as she did when her mother passed away in 2007. Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, battled ovarian cancer for a long period of time, so the actress knew she had to do anything to prevent the disease. In the future, she could also get her ovaries removed because Jolie has 50% chances of developing ovarian cancer.
Jolie’s decision to share her experience with the readers of the New York Times magazine has been generally praised by nonprofit organizations all over the world. They hope the actress will set an example for the rest of the women and convince them to perform regular checkups to determine whether they suffer of defective genes or not.