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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 25, 2014 07:07 GMT
"HERCULES" - DWAYNE JOHNSON
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Dwayne Johnson remembers the first time he ever encountered the idea of Hercules. He was five years old and he saw a poster of Steve Reeves as Hercules breaking chains from pillars. Johnson says at the time, he didn't know anything about the myth of Hercules. He just thought it was a cool picture. Now it's his turn to bring the myth to life. Johnson plays a modern version in "Hercules," which opens today.
Dwayne Johnson says he never thought Hercules should be a young man.
<<CUT ..003 (07/25/14)>> 00:16 "I am Hercules"
Dwayne Johnson says he remembers his first exposure to Hercules.
<<CUT ..004 (07/25/14)>> 00:17 "made this movie"
Dwayne Johnson says Hercules is the first superhero.
HERCULES APPEARS AT COMIC-CON
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- "Hercules" has muscled-in on Comic-Con. Hercules star Dwayne Johnson made a surprise appearance at the pop culture convention yesterday. He high-fived fans -- and invited them all to special screenings of the new movie. Johnson says he booked three San Diego theaters for the screenings. Johnson isn't the only star to drop by Comic-Con's opening day in San Diego. Actors Jeff Bridges, John Malkovich and Benedict Cumberbatch made appearances.
Comic-con opened yesterday - with some star power. The AP's Jamie Friar reports on the pop culture convention in San Diego.
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Sound of an excerpt of Dwayne Johnson
Sound of an excerpt of Dwayne Johnson, in "Hercules" trailer. ((Cut used in wrap))
<<CUT ..008 (07/25/14)>> 00:02 ""
Excerpt of Dwayne Johnson
Excerpt of Dwayne Johnson, in "Hercules" trailer. ((Cut used in wrap))
ALEC BALDWIN ADMONISHED TO "BE A GOOD BOY"
NEW YORK (AP) -- It sounded more like a warning a parent might give a wayward child -- not something a judge would say to a grown man. But that's the admonition Alec Baldwin got from a judge in New York City yesterday. The actor was in court to face charges of mouthing off at police who stopped him while riding a bike. After examining the allegations against him, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge John DeLury told Baldwin: "looks like you have a short fuse." Baldwin repeatedly said he'd pay the fine, but the judge said he only wanted the actor to apology. The judge set the case to be dismissed if Baldwin stays out of trouble for six months. Speaking to the actor with his given name, DeLury asked Baldwin: "Can you stay out of trouble, Alexander?" Baldwin responded: "Sure, sure" -- then the judge told him: "Be a good boy from now on. Have a good day!" before adjourning the case.
SHIA LaBEOUF SEEKS RESOLUTION OF CASE
NEW YORK (AP) -- Shia LeBeouf has another court date set for September in an incident in which he's accused of acting out while in the audience of a Broadway play last month. The actor's lawyer and prosecutors are trying to hash out a settlement over the incident in which LeBeouf lit cigarettes, yelled at actors onstage and cursed security guards. As he was ushered out of the theater, he hollered: "Do you know who I am." LeBeouf's publicist says the episode stemmed from an alcohol problem -- and that the actor has since gotten treatment.
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