Angelina Jolie has revealed that she recently underwent a preventative double mastectomy. The actress penned a very open column for the New York Times which just got published online. In it, she wrote about losing her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, to breast cancer (she was 56) and how it meant Marcheline never got to meet her younger grandchildren. Angelina doesn’t want her kids to go through the same thing. She went on to detail the stages of her surgeries (she subsequently had reconstruction surgery) and how she had a lot of support from Brad Pitt. Here are extracts:
On her chances of getting cancer: “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.”
On when she had surgery: “On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work.”
On the effect on her children: “It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”
On Brad Pitt's support: “I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.”
Read the full column here.