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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 October 31, 2014 07:08 GMT
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It's expected to be one of the top movies of the year. And with "Interstellar" soon hitting theaters, we'll see whether the predictions will come true. The movie is set in the near future -- after Earth has been hit with a blight that wipes out most of its food sources. Enter Matthew McConaughey -- or at least his character. He plays a widowed pilot who is asked to leave his children behind to head out on a space mission to find out if there are any other planets where humans can thrive. McConaughey says he didn't quite grasp the science behind the movie. He says it took him more than five hours to get through his first read of the script. Even then, he had questions for director Christopher Nolan and the astrophysicist who was helping with the production. The movie opens next week.
Matthew McConaughey says it took some time to get his head around the script for "Interstellar," even with the help of director Christopher Nolan. ((longer version of cut in wrap))
<<CUT ..003 (10/31/14)>> 00:09 "the actor work"
Matthew McConaughey says once he got a handle on the science behind "Interstellar," he was able to dive into the role.
<<CUT ..004 (10/31/14)>> 00:09 "on the ground"
Matthew McConaughey says unlike most kids, he never dreamed of being an astronaut. ((longer version of cut used in wrap))
<<CUT ..005 (10/31/14)>> 00:19 ""
Sound of Matthew McConaughey
Sound of Matthew McConaughey from the trailer for the movie "Interstellar."
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Nicole Kidman can pretty much get whatever kind of part she wants these days. But that wasn't the case when she was 5 -- and she missed out on a coveted role. She says she wanted to play Mary or maybe an angel in her school's nativity play. But she ended up cast as a sheep. She says she still remembers her costume: one of those fleece-looking car seats cover converted into an outfit by her mom. She says playing a sheep wasn't her finest moment as an actress, but she "felt amazing." She says she "bleated through the whole play" and even got a laugh -- and she was hooked. Kidman stars in "Before I Go To Sleep" a movie about a woman whose memory is wiped clean every night.
Nicole Kidman recalls her first acting role.
<<CUT ..008 (10/31/14)>> 00:09 "my whole career"
Nicole Kidman says while she wanted a bigger role, she was thrilled with her first acting part.
<<CUT ..009 (10/31/14)>> 00:17 "secretly doing it"
Nicole Kidman recalls some of her earliest childhood memories. ((note length of cut))
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- Gregg Allman is no longer involved in a lawsuit filed by the family of a movie crew worker killed by a train during the shooting of a movie about the musician. Lawyers for the parents of Sarah Jones say they have decided to dismiss all claims against Allman and two other parties. The decision was made after going over thousands of documents and other evidence in the case. The attorney says it's clear Allman "had no involvement" in any of the decisions that led to Jones' death. Allman was an executive producer of the movie based on his life story -- but has moved to distance himself from the project since the crew member's death. Members of the crew were struck by a freight train as they worked on a rail bridge. CSX says it denied the film crew access to the area.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Chris Brown has settled a lawsuit stemming from his punching a man outside a Washington D.C. hotel a year ago. The lawyer for the man who suffered a broken nose in the incident says his client and Brown have reached a deal on a lawsuit. No details on how much the settlement was worth. Brown pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault on Sept. 2. The singer admitted hitting Parker Adams, who tried to get in a picture the singer was taking with two women outside the W hotel in October 2013. Brown was sentenced to time served.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Some people are criticizing reality TV star Tiny Harris -- for failing to keep it real when it comes to her eyes. She's drawing fire from social media haters and some eye doctors over a procedure she underwent to have her eyes permanently lightened. They were once brown; now they're ice gray. Harris is thrilled with the results, telling ABC she had the cosmetic eye implants done in Africa. She says of her new eyes: "they're amazing." Some medical pros aren't so impressed. New York ophthalmologist James Tsai says such cosmetic procedures are illegal in the U.S. And he says those who have the procedure run the risk of getting glaucoma, cataracts, bleeding in the eyes -- or problems with their corneas.
NEW YORK (AP) -- It was a tug-of-war between two divisions within ABC -- entertainment and news. "The View" will now come under the command and control of ABC News. The move ends an 18-year run with the daytime chat-fest being under the network's entertainment wing. It may prove to be a hollow victory. The show's ratings have dropped since shifting to a new set of hosts going into this season. The current panel is made up of Rosie O'Donnell, Nicolle Wallace and Rosie Perez -- and the lone holdover from the glory days, Whoopi Goldberg.
"GAME OF THRONES"-SUSPENSION
PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) -- "Game of Thrones" is a popular TV series. But a slogan from the HBO show wasn't as well received when it ended up posted online by a New Jersey professor. Francis Schmidt teaches art and animation at Bergen County Community College. He says he was suspended eight days after posting a photo of his 7-year-old daughter wearing a T-shirt with the slogan: "I will take what is mine with fire and blood." Now school officials have overturned the punishment, saying the suspension may have violated his constitutional rights. Schmidt said that school officials wondered if the reference was a threat against a dean, who was one of the people who saw the online post.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- If you see a rather large fellow decked out in an Elvis costume today, take a close look -- you might have seen him on TV. Jorge Garcia says he has forked over $3,700 on a "Dragon" jumpsuit, styled after the kind Elvis Presley used to wear. It's white with colorful dragons stitched into the front and back. Garcia says he always wanted to have one -- and now that he has made good money from "Lost" and "Hawaii Five-O," he decided to splurge.
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