Angelina Jolie is revealing a medical secret she has been keeping since February.
Brad Pitt’s partner has written an op-ed piece appearing in Tuesday’s New York Times that reveals she underwent a preventive double mastectomy three months ago.
“I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is loving and supportive,” she writes. “So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.”
The mother of six reveals that she carried the “faulty gene” BRCA1, which causes breast cancer in 87 percent of the people who have it. And she was told she had 50 percent chance of contracting ovarian cancer. “Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.”
And as is her custom, Angelina has gone public to help others.
“I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer,” she writes. “It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.”
Angelina admits that her decision was “not easy” but she is “very happy” with it, and her risk of breast cancer has dropped to “under 5 percent.”