Angelina Jolie was praised by health campaigners after making her preventive double mastectomy public. The actress could thus, set an example for other women and inspire them to get gene-tested and take all the necessary measures to prevent cancer, the Associate Press informs.
The 37-year-old actress has been absent from the media’s attention in the past months, but as it turns out, it was all for a social cause. Angelina Jolie has moved on from humanitarian causes to health campaigns by publishing a personal article about her preventive double mastectomy in New York Times. Based on her statement, the actress chose to undergo the medical procedure because she wanted to diminish all chances of getting mammary cancer.
Jolie’s mother passed away at 56 years old after suffering of breast cancer. The actress decided to get gene-tested to determine whether she would develop the same disease or not. Results showed that the mother of six had a defective gene, BRCA1, and therefore, the risk of developing breast cancer was very big in her case. As a result of the defective gene, Jolie had 87% chances of developing mammary cancer and 50% risk of ovarian cancer. After the surgery, the risk of breast cancer was reduced to 5%, according to the actress’ declaration.
The “Tourist” star further revealed that she started preparing for the double mastectomy in February; the surgery was completely over in April. Although the process was lengthy and difficult, Angelina managed to overcome it due to the support of her husband, Brad Pitt, and her six children. Moreover, the actress reassured other women that she doesn’t “feel any less of a woman” and her scars are barely noticeable. She concluded by saying that she is relieved to know that her children won’t lose their mother because of breast cancer.
Angelina Jolie chose to make her story public because she wanted to raise awareness on the importance of gene tests and screenings. Wendy Watson, who founded the UK’s National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline and other health campaigners have been very pleased by Jolie’s unexpected confession. She told the press that the actress’ example raises the profile for other women with a family history and gives them courage to undergo preventive surgery.