Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie took on what may have been the biggest role of her life when she decided to undergo a procedure that would reduce the chances of her getting cancer.
In a revealing essay for The New York Times, Jolie details discovering she had "an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer" because of a faulty gene, BRCA1, she carried. She describes taking a proactive stance to fight the risk, getting a preventive double mastectomy and completing treatments for three months on April 27.
After losing her own mother to cancer, she writes that she hopes her story will encourage other women to get tested and take action.
"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. 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."
She continues, "It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity."
Jolie also name drops her partner/ actor Brad Pitt for being supportive and loving every step of the way. Read the full piece here.