In a piece that appears in Tuesday’s New York Times, actress and human rights activist Angelina Jolie explains her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy:
“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. 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 recalls how she lost her mother to cancer at 56. “My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer,” she writes in a piece that describes her treatment over a series of months.
“I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be will able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.”
You can read Jolie’s essay here.