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Actress, Celebrity Angelina Jolie had Double Mastectomy
Angelina Jolie says that she has had a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carried a gene that made it extremely likely she would get breast cancer.
The Oscar-winning actress and partner to Brad Pitt made the announcement in the form of an op-ed she authored for Tuesday’s New York Times under the headline, “My Medical Choice.” She writes that between early February and late April she completed three months of surgical procedures to remove both breasts.
Jolie, 37, writes that she made the choice with thoughts of her six children after watching her own mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, die too young from cancer.
“My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56,” Jolie writes. “She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.”
She writes that, “They have asked if the same could happen to me.”
Jolie said that after genetic testing, she learned she carries the “faulty” BRCA1 gene and had an 87 percent chance of getting the disease herself.
She said she has kept the process private so far, but wrote about with hopes of helping other women.
“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,” Jolie writes. “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.”
Phone and email messages left by The Associated Press late Monday night seeking comment from Jolie representatives were not immediately returned.
She is anything but private in the details she provides, giving a description of the procedures.
“My own process began on Feb. 2 with a procedure known as a ’nipple delay,’” she writes, “which rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area.”
She then describes the major surgery two weeks later where breast tissue was removed, saying it felt “like a scene out of a science-fiction film,” then writes that nine weeks later she had a third surgery to reconstruct the breasts and receive implants.”
Many women have chosen preventive mastectomy since genetic screening for breast cancer was developed, but the move and public announcement is unprecedented from a star so young and widely known as Jolie.
She briefly addresses the effects of the surgery on the idealized sexuality and iconic womanhood that have fueled her fame.
“I do not feel any less of a woman,” Jolie writes. “I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”
She also wrote that Brad Pitt, her partner of eight years, was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Southern California for “every minute of the surgeries.”
Bertrand, Jolie’s mother, died in January 2007. She had small roles in the movies “Lookin’ to Get Out” in 1982 and “The Man Who Loved Women” in 1983. She raised Jolie and her brother after divorcing their father, Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight, when Jolie was a toddler.
Jolie has appeared in dozens of films including 2010’s “The Tourist” and “Salt,” the “Tomb Raider” films, and 1999’s “Girl, Interrupted,” for which she won an Academy Award.
But she has appeared more often in the news in recent years for her power coupling with Pitt and her charitable work with refugees as a United Nations ambassador.
Photo by Associated Press: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, in Los Angeles.
More Entertainment News
Last Update on July 23, 2014 07:32 GMT
CLEANING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Call it a case of fighting water pollution with pop culture. Back on Monday, the official Twitter account for the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water made it appear the government had teamed up with the Kardashian clan to clean the nation's waterways. There was a message about the online game "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood." The video game lets players do important things like appear at red carpets, do photo shoots and other essential acts to help the environment. The EPA says the off-topic tweet was posted by an intern. But before it was pulled down, it drew a joking comment from the account of 88-year-old congressman John Dingell. It asked: What is a Kardashian? The following day Dingell's account indicated the lawmaker now knew what a Kardashian is -- but said that only led to more questions.
Environmental Protection Agency site: http://www.epa.gov
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Michael Douglas had the option of changing the script for the movie "And So It Goes" to avoid uncomfortable parallels with his own life. He chose not to do that. Douglas says his character's son in "And So It Goes" has drug problems, as does his own son, Cameron. He recalls reading the script and shaking his head with a smile. Douglas says he didn't want to change the story because he didn't know what the alternative would be. "And So It Goes" opens Friday.
Michael Douglas says he had an open mind about playing the father whose son has drug problems in "And So It Goes."
<<CUT ..003 (07/23/14)>> 00:14 "seen on screen"
Michael Douglas, actor
Michael Douglas says he and director Rob Reiner were in a movie called "Summertree."
<<CUT ..004 (07/23/14)>> 00:14 "many of us"
Michael Douglas, actor
Michael Douglas says he bonds with director Rob Reiner because they have similar backgrounds.
"DOWNTON ABBEY" RETURNS
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- No surprise for the legion of "Downton Abbey" fans. The show will return for a fifth season on PBS in January. The public broadcasting outlet is promising that the show "will have some surprises in it" when it returns. But that assumes U.S. viewers won't be creeping across the pond to glean hints about the show from British online posts, because the show airs earlier in England than it does here. Meanwhile the return date for another PBS series is in limbo. PBS chief Paula Kerger says they will have to wait to find out when the mystery "Sherlock" will finish production before a slot can be determined.
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Fans of X-Men get to enter the mind of Professor X. The Comic-Con pop-culture convention is offering a virtual reality experience, promoting the fall Blu-ray release of "X-Men: Days of Future Past." Visitors to the 20th Century Fox exhibit get to experience the fictional Cerebro technology used to track the X-men mutants. The 90-second virtual adventure is done through an Oculus Rift 3-D headset, while fans sit in Professor X's wheelchair. Comic-Con opens tomorrow in San Diego.
It's a virtual reality trip, into the mind of Professor X. The AP's Jamie Friar reports on one of the attractions at Comic-Con.
<<CUT ..007 (07/23/14)>> 00:07 "to hope again"
Here's Patrick Stewart as Professor X in the "X-Men: Days of Future Past' trailer. ((cut used in wrap))
<<CUT ..008 (07/23/14)>> 00:05 "together, the X-Men"
Here's Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, in the "X-Men: Days of Future Past" trailer.
DENZEL WASHINGTON TO SHOW FILM AT TORONTO FESTIVAL
NEW YORK (AP) -- The names are big in Hollywood: Denzel Washington, Chris Rock and Kate Winslet. But those names will also be prominent in Toronto -- home of an International Film Festival that gets under way in September. Washington and Rock will be among those rolling out films at the event. And Winslet will star in "A Little Chaos," the film that will close out the festival. The Toronto film fest is the considered a major event to help launch into Hollywood's awards season.
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