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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 20, 2014 08:03 GMT
JAY LENO-COMEDY AWARD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- He has told many a joke during his career. But last night, he was the target of most of the humor. Jay Leno was given the nation's top humor award. Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld and Wanda Sykes were among those paying tribute to Leno at the Kennedy Center in Washington last night -- as he received the Mark Twain Prize. Previous winners include Carol Burnett, Will Ferrell and Bill Cosby. The event was recorded and will be broadcast nationally on Nov. 23 on PBS.
Jay Leno was honored with the nation's top humor prize Sunday, as the AP's Jamie Friar reports.
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Archive audio of "Tonight Show" introduction
Archive audio of "Tonight Show" introduction. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
DAVID LETTERMAN-CUE CARD GUY
NEW YORK (AP) -- The guy who has handled David Letterman's cue cards for years will have to handle something else -- unemployment. He has lost his job -- after getting into a dispute with a co-worker. Tony Mendez tells the New York Post he was let go after grabbing a co-worker by the shirt. The incident happened behind the scenes at "Late Show with David Letterman." Mendez, who's 60, says he knows he was wrong -- saying he should not have gone after a co-worker. He says Letterman was unaware of any beef between the two workers. Mendez was familiar to "Late Show" viewers, having appeared in episodes of the show going back to at least 1997.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It's intense and bloody. It's also the nation's top movie. Brad Pitt's "Fury" has fought its way to the number one slot at the box office, taking in $23.5 million in ticket sales. The rise of Fury drops the previous top film to second place. "Gone Girl" had been at the top for the past two weeks before dropping down a notch with a box office take of $17.8 million. Number three is the animated movie "The Book of Life," followed by Disney's "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" with $12 million. Rounding out the top five is another new film, "The Best of Me," with $10.2 million.
After a chilly financial summer -- things are looking up a bit for Hollywood. The AP's Jamie Friar looks at the weekend box office numbers.
<<CUT ..006 (10/20/14)>> 00:09 "the tank's busted"
Sound of an excerpt from "Fury"
This is an excerpt from the World War II drama "Fury," which was number one at the weekend box office.
BRAD PITT-LONDON FILM FEST
LONDON (AP) -- While it was making news at the box office here in the U.S., Brad Pitt's new movie was rounding out the London Film Festival. Pitt walked the red carpet before the screening of "Fury" -- the often brutal tale of at a tank crew doing battle in the closing months of World War II. The London festival handed out prizes for films this past Saturday.
MISTY UPHAM-BODY ID'D
SEATTLE (AP) -- Officials near Seattle confirmed what has been feared since last week: that the body found in a ravine is that of missing actress Misty Upham. Authorities say the actress died Oct. 5 -- the same day her family told police the actress was suicidal. The medical examiner's office has identified the body of the Native American actress -- but the cause and manner of her death are still being determined. Things with Upham's name on them were found nearby and authorities say there were no signs of foul play. Upham starred in the movies "August: Osage County," "Frozen River" and "Django Unchained."
CALABASAS, Calif. (AP) -- A motorcycle said to have been featured in the movie "Easy Rider" has been sold at auction. The Profiles in History auction house isn't identifying who ponied up the $1.35 million for the famed "Captain America" chopper that the house says was ridden in the 1969 movie. But it describes bidding for the Harley-Davidson bike as fierce.
BURBANK, Calif. (AP) -- So, which are the "greenest" TV shows? According to an organization that monitors environmental issues -- there are a few that make the grade. The Environmental Media Association says the shows "New Girl," "Parenthood" and "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" have been recognized for their support of green initiatives. The shows received their awards at an event this past Saturday in Burbank, California. Ed Begley Jr. is a member of the board, which encourages those in the entertainment field to educate the public about environmental issues.
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