News / Arts & Entertainment

Angelina Jolie Has Double Mastectomy to Prevent Breast Cancer

US actress and humanitarian campaigner Angelina Jolie leaves a G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting in London April 11, 2013.
US actress and humanitarian campaigner Angelina Jolie leaves a G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting in London April 11, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has
 had a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer and says she hopes her story will inspire other women fighting the life-threatening disease.

Jolie wrote in the New York Times on Tuesday the operation has made it easier for her to reassure her six children that she would not die young from cancer, like her own mother did at 56.

"We often speak of 'Mommy's mommy', and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me,'' wrote Jolie, 37.

"I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a 'faulty' gene.''

The Oscar-winning actress said her doctors had estimated she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.

"Once I knew this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much as I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy,'' she said.

Angelina Jolie Announces Double Mastectomy to Prevent Breast Canceri
X
May 14, 2013
Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie has revealed she has undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing cancer.

Partner and fellow Hollywood star Brad Pitt was by Jolie's side through three months of treatment that ended late in April, she said. The two got engaged last year.

"Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie's choice, as well as so many others like her, absolutely heroic,'' Pitt told London's Evening Standard newspaper. "All I want is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family.''

Jolie said that even though she had kept silent about her treatment while it was going on, she hoped her story would now help other women.

"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. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested.''

Breast cancer alone kills some 458,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization. It is estimated that one in 300 to one in 500 women carry a BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation, as Jolie does.

Openness praised

CNN anchor Zoraida Sambolin announced on Tuesday that she had breast cancer and was also getting a double mastectomy.

Sambolin, who anchors CNN's "Early Start'' morning show, discussed her condition on the show while talking about Jolie's procedure.

"I struggled for weeks trying to figure out how tell you that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was leaving to have surgery,'' Sambolin, 47, said on Facebook. "Then ... Angelina Jolie shares her story of a double mastectomy and gives me strength and an opening.''

Jolie's decision was also welcomed by breast cancer patients and charities.

Richard Francis, head of research at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity in Britain, said it demonstrated the importance of educating women with the gene fault.

"For women like Angelina it's important that they are made fully aware of all the options that are available, including risk-reducing surgery and extra breast screening,'' Francis told Reuters.

Breast Cancer Campaign Chief Executive Baroness Delyth Morgan said Jolie's openness in talking about her experience and her decision to have surgery would raise awareness of the disease and its risk.

Jolie won a 1999 best supporting actress Oscar for Girl, Interrupted.

She lends her star power to a range of humanitarian campaigns, including serving more than 10 years as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

In April, she urged governments to step up efforts to bring wartime sex offenders to justice.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: henok habte from: Dallas, Texas.
May 27, 2013 12:14 PM
Angelina Jolie is a great humaniterian and a United Nations good will ambassador to the world. I am a big fan. I hope she weathers this cancer and live long. On another note; VOA have a headline news of "Angelina Jolie's Aunt Dies of Breast Cancer" w/ no comment option; the headline picture of a smiling Angelina from a different time does not befit the story of bereavement. Poor choice of picture on the part of VOA news team.


by: andrewborovskikh@gmail.co
May 16, 2013 9:55 AM
The overall desire of Americans to play it safe one hundred and ten percent! To hedge against everything. It’s like dropping A-bombs on two cities to hell and gone just in case. It’s like eradicating turnskins who used to be your near relatives just a while ago – the most common science fiction theme in America. It’s like committing suicide not to develop cancer. Angelina, I’m so sorry for every lost inch of your body. Medicine is forging ahead. The more so, the American medicine is. Medical screening plus 30 minutes of aerobics daily would most probably do the job without the mastectomy vandalism.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
May 16, 2013 4:46 AM
I'm sorry but I would like to ask her if there is another way to regular inspection.


by: Chuck Spohr from: USA
May 15, 2013 12:27 AM
Ms. Jolie, I know very little about your career or your persona. I do admire the private courage you had and the public courage you are showing.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

With over five million records sold worldwide, singer-songwriter MIKA is best known for his hit single “Grace Kelly.” MIKA joins "Border Crossings" to perform live and to talk with host Larry London about his latest CD “The Origin Of Love.”