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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 24, 2014 07:07 GMT
HILARY SWANK: DEATH BECOMES HER?
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) -- Hilary Swank says even her own mom wonders why it seems she never lives long enough in the movies to see the credits roll. The actress has starred in a number of films in which her character -- or someone close to her -- dies. Swank says it isn't like she asks her people to go out and find scripts in which she ends up dead. But she says she does ask her people to point her to roles in which there are stories about women who can show the world "real, meaty, courageous, brave snippets of life." Her latest movie is "You're Not You" -- in which she plays a former pianist suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. Not trying to spoil anything -- but Swank says it she doesn't think it gives anything away to tell you that her character doesn't survive this one, either.
Hilary Swank says it's not like she goes looking for roles with people who end up dead.
<<CUT ..003 (10/24/14)>> 00:16 "part of life"
Hilary Swank says she's aware that death is often an element in her movies.
HALLE BERRY'S BRAS
NEW YORK (AP) -- Want to get your hands on some of Halle Berry's lingerie? You now have a chance -- now that she's reviving a line of underwear that has its origins in France. Berry is launching a collection of 10 bras and panties that will be sold at Target. They are born from the Scandale line -- which was started in 1932. Berry is an owner of the line -- and helps in the design of the lingerie. She notes women usually buy lingerie for themselves -- and if they find something they feel good in, it makes them "feel sexy and feminine and empowered." She says as a result, "their partners also reap the benefits." She spoke about the line while showing off a bra in her product line -- one that retails for under $20.
CLAIRE COFFEE: SETTLING IN
NEW YORK (AP) -- Claire Coffee has been married almost a year. But she says it's only now that she's starting to settle into the relationship. That's because her husband, Chris Thile, is in the band The Punch Brothers and is "on the road most of the time." The star of NBC's "Grimm" says the couple has now relocated to Portland, Oregon -- where the show is shot. And Coffee says, that means they'll have more time to spend together, even though her hubby is still an active part of the group. While she may not see much of her husband, Coffee says she gets to see lots of fans of Grimm in Portland. She says fans keep showing up -- even though producers don't go telling people when and where they will shoot. The first episode of season four of Grimm airs tonight on NBC.
Claire Coffee says Portland, Oregon isn't the easiest place to have a long-distance relationship.
<<CUT ..012 (10/24/14)>> 00:10 "hard to miss"
Claire Coffee says fans of "Grimm" seem to have no problem tracking down where the crew is shooting on any given day.
<<CUT ..013 (10/24/14)>> 00:10 "nice and respectful"
Claire Coffee says she thinks fans have inside information on how to find where "Grimm" is taping.
NEW YORK (AP) -- "The Roosevelts" are a ratings hit. The Ken Burns series has given PBS its biggest audience in two decades. That makes it Burns' third most popular film -- after "The Civil War" and "Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery." PBS says the series on the Roosevelts had an average audience of 9.2 million viewers. The saga of Teddy, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt featured seven two-hour episodes that aired last month.
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