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.
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 12:41 PM
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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."