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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 April 23, 2014 07:13 GMT
STEPHEN COLBERT GUESTS ON LETTERMAN'S SHOW
NEW YORK (AP) -- It was old meets new on Letterman last night. Stephen Colbert (kohl-BAYR'), who will be taking over for the retiring David Letterman, was a guest on the "Late Show." It was Colbert's first appearance since CBS made the announcement. Colbert says he has a simple plan for his new job -- he's going to do whatever Dave does. That got a laugh from Letterman and the audience. Colbert revealed he was offered an internship decades ago on Letterman's old NBC show. Colbert says he didn't take it because the job didn't pay and New York is an expensive city. Colbert's new gig will start sometime next year.
<<CUT ..001 (04/23/14)>> 00:31 ""
Jamie Friar, AP correspondent
Stephen Colbert, who will be taking over for the retiring David Letterman, was on CBS' "Late Show" last night. The AP's Jamie Friar watched as Letterman introduced his successor. ((opens with sound))
<<CUT ..002 (04/23/14)>> 00:12 "entertaining Stephen Colbert (applause)"
David Letterman welcomes the next host of the "Late Show." COURTESY: Worldwide Pants Productions ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..003 (04/23/14)>> 00:13 "it's gone on (laughs)"
Stephen Colbert (kohl-BAYR') and David Letterman
Stephen Colbert jokes he'll be a clone of David Letterman. COURTESY: Worldwide Pants Productions ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..004 (04/23/14)>> 00:16 "our own way (laughs)"
David Letterman and Stephen Colbert (kohl-BAYR')
David Letterman says CBS made the right choice in picking Stephen Colbert. COURTESY: Worldwide Pants Productions ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..005 (04/23/14)>> 00:11 "an expensive city"
Stephen Colbert (kohl-BAYR') and David Letterman
Stephen Colbert notes he was offered an intership on David Letterman's old show in 1986. COURTESY: Worldwide Pants Productions ((mandatory on-air credit))
DANI MOZ AND TJ WILKINS OUT ON "THE VOICE"
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Last night could have been a disaster for Team Shakira on "The Voice." Two of her three singers were in the bottom three and faced elimination. Tess Boyer and Dani Moz (MOHS) from Shakira's team and TJ Wilkins from Usher's team had to sing a final time each and hope to be saved by viewer tweets. It's Tess who gets the first "instant save" of the season. All the singers from both Team Adam and Team Blake were out of danger.
<<CUT ..006 (04/23/14)>> 00:23 ""
Tess Boyer, performing "Dark Side"
Tess Boyer, performing "Dark Side." COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..007 (04/23/14)>> 00:08 "the best singers"
Shakira can't believe Tess Boyer faced elimination. ((Refers to Monday night as "last night")) COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..008 (04/23/14)>> 00:09 "congradulations to Tess ((cheers))"
Carson Daly announces which of the bottom three, Tess Boyer, Dani Moz or TJ Wilkins, is saved by the instant Twitter vote. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Aaron Paul doesn't mind it when fans call him Jesse. He realizes that most people know him for his character on "Breaking Bad." Paul says he's not like Jesse at all and he hopes his latest movie "Need for Speed" will show people he can play other roles.
<<CUT ..011 (04/23/14)>> 00:15 "carving some wood"
Aaron Paul says he hopes Jesse Pinkman has found peace.
<<CUT ..012 (04/23/14)>> 00:15 "kind of floored"
Aaron Paul says they knew from the start that "Breaking Bad" would be a classic.
<<CUT ..013 (04/23/14)>> 00:15 "from, from him"
Aaron Paul says he's used to having fans call him by his "Breaking Bad" character's name.
"VEEP" - JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Julia Louis-Dreyfus has more respect for politicians since starring in "Veep." She says she's impressed by how most can keep "their ideals and moral compass" while serving in Washington. She says "that's hard, man." Louis-Dreyfus says she doesn't know how they do it.
<<CUT ..009 (04/23/14)>> 00:13 "I really don't"
Julia Louis-Drefus says she has more respect for politicans after playing one in "Veep."
<<CUT ..010 (04/23/14)>> 00:11 "long as possible"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus says her favorite type of humor makes you squirm.
"VEEP" AND "SILICON VALLEY" RENEWED
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "Veep" is sticking around a while longer. HBO has renewed it for a fourth season. HBO also picked up "Silicon Valley" for a second season. It was renewed after only three episodes aired.
AARON SORKIN APOLOGIZES FOR "THE NEWSROOM"
NEW YORK (AP) -- Aaron Sorkin wishes he could have a do-over with "The Newsroom." He told an audience at the Tribeca Film Festival, "you and I got off on the wrong foot." He says "I apologize and I'd like to start over." Sorkin says he wasn't trying to teach journalists how to do their jobs. He says it was "a terrible misunderstanding." Sorkin will get a chance to do things differently in the third and final season.
COURTENEY COX - NO "FRIENDS" REUNION
NEW YORK (AP) -- Not that you were really expecting it, but Courteney Cox says there's no chance of a "Friends" TV reunion. Cox told David Letterman that she can't even get them all together for dinner. And you can forget a "Friends" movie, too. Cox points out that the show took place mostly in their apartments, so it would be hard to expand that into a movie.
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