WASHINGTON, May 14 (RIA Novosti) - US film star Angelina Jolie revealed Tuesday that she recently underwent a double mastectomy to reduce her genetically high predisposition for the cancer that killed her mother at age 56.
Writing in an op-ed for The New York Times, Jolie said that genetic testing revealed she carries the “faulty” BRCA 1 gene and her doctors estimated that she had an 87 percent chance of getting breast cancer – odds she said were reduced to less than five percent by having both breasts removed.
“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,” Jolie wrote. “It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.”
Jolie, 37, said she had undergone breast reconstruction with implants and praised her husband, Hollywood star Brad Pitt, for supporting her through the process which began on February 2.
Experts cited in US media however said that while Jolie’s decision to go public with her decision for the radical procedure would raise awareness among other women, it might also cause unnecessary panic in many and worry among women who cannot afford some of the tests and procedures chosen by Jolie.