May 14 - Actress Angelina Jolie says cancer fears led her to have double mastectomy. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.
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Actress Angelina Jolie has had a double mastectomy.
She wrote in the New York times that she discovered she carried a gene mutation that increases the risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.
She said this discovery and her mother's death from cancer at 56 lead her to make the decision.
Her doctor estimated she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer. She said once she realised that was her reality, she decided to be proactive and minimize her risk.
After the operation the risk dropped to 5 percent.
Jolie underwent three months of surgical procedures, which were completed at the end of April and included breast reconstruction.
She said now she could tell her children they did not need to fear losing her to breast cancer.
Jolie chose to reveal her decision to encourage other women to get tested and make informed choices.
In the editorial, she thanked her partner, Brad Pitt for his love and support, who was at her side throughout.