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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.
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Last Update on November 26, 2014 14:43 GMT
"DANCING WITH THE STARS"-ALFONSO WINS
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The long wait is over for Alfonso Ribeiro. The "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" co-star says he's wanted to be on "Dancing With the Stars" since it went on the air nearly 10 years ago. Ribeiro not only made it onto the show, he's the new champ. The winner was crowned at the conclusion of last night's season finale. It came down to Ribeiro and "Duck Dynasty" teen Sadie Robertson. Janel Parrish finished third. Ribeiro had the inside lane going into the finale. He had two sets of perfect scores from the judges on Monday's program and got another in the final dance on last night's show. Ribeiro had tears streaming down his cheeks and says he can't believe it. Dancing with the Stars will be back with its 10th anniversary season in the spring.
<<CUT ..001 (11/26/14)>> 00:32 ""
Jamie Friar, AP correspondent
"Dancing With the Stars" has a new champ. The AP's Jamie Friar watched as ABC's top rated reality show crowned the winner. ((opens with sound))
<<CUT ..002 (11/26/14)>> 00:24 "Alfonso and Whitney (cheers)"
Host Tom Bergeron announces the Season 19 winners. ((note length of cut)) ((cut used in wrap)) COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..003 (11/26/14)>> 00:06 "what to say"
Alfonso Riberio, winner
Alfonso Riberio says he wanted to be on "Dancing With the Stars" since the show started nearly 10 years ago. ((longer version of cut in wrap)) COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..004 (11/26/14)>> 00:13 "he deserves it"
Sadie Robertson, runner-up
Sadie Robertson says she can't believe she made it to the very end. COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..005 (11/26/14)>> 00:09 "Alfonso and Whitney (cheers)"
Host Tom Bergeron hands the mirrorball trophy to the winners. COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It's two weeks in a row for Virginia college student Ryan Sill. He's been in the bottom three on "The Voice" for the last two weeks. But last night he was saved again by the instant Twitter vote. Reagan James and Anita Antoinette aren't so lucky. They were eliminated. Team Blake is now down to just one singer. Both Team Gwen and Team Pharrell have two apiece. Team Adam hasn't lost anyone since the Top 12 started performing live. He still has three singers in the running.
<<CUT ..006 (11/26/14)>> 00:34 ""
Excerpt of Ryan Sill, performing "Collide"
Excerpt of Ryan Sill performing "Collide." COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..007 (11/26/14)>> 00:12 "we love him (cheers)"
Gwen Stefani hopes viewers will want to keep Ryan Sill in the competition. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..008 (11/26/14)>> 00:07 "representing Team Gwen (cheers)"
Host Carson Daly announces the results of the instant Twitter vote. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
BILL COSBY'S PHILANTHROPY COMES INTO QUESTION
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Even the places where Bill Cosby made charitable donations are taking sides as he denies allegations he sexually assaulted several women. High Point University in North Carolina has removed Cosby from its board of advisers. The Berklee College of Music says it will no longer award an online scholarship in Cosby's name. However, no institutions have publicly renounced the tens of millions Cosby and his wife have donated over the years. Cosby gave $20 million to Spelman College in 1988, which was the largest donation at the time by a black donor to a historically black college. A Spelman spokeswoman says there have been no discussions about changes regarding Cosby's gift. Cosby and his wife have also made sizable donations to the Morehouse School of Medicine, the U.S. National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia; the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; and St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. Temple University says Cosby is still a trustee there.
SHIA LABEOUF CHECKS IN WITH COURT
NEW YORK (AP) -- Shia LaBeouf (SHY'-uh luh-BUF') was in a New York City court yesterday to show proof he's been in treatment after he disrupted a Broadway performance of "Cabaret" in June. LaBeouf appeared in court for a status hearing. He was arrested after he attended a performance of "Cabaret" and yelled at the actors, swore at security guards and smoked throughout. If he stays in treatment for at least three months and out of trouble for six, his case will be dismissed.
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