Angelina Jolie Undergoes Preventative Double Mastectomy

Jolie announced Tuesday she underwent a double mastectomy to prevent her chances of breast cancer. Her likelihood of developing the cancer was at 87 percent. Tell us what you think about Jolie's decision and announcement in the comments section.


Actress and director Angelina Jolie announced today in a New York Times op-ed piece that she recently underwent a double mastectomy to cut her chances of developing breast cancer. 

Jolie wrote she decided to receive genetic testing since she was at a higher risk of breast cancer — her mother fought the disease for almost a decade before dying at age 56 — and because she wanted to make sure she would be there for her children, according to her New York Times column. 

Jolie said she carries a "faulty" gene, BRCA1, which raised her risk of developing breast cancer to 87 percent, according to the Associated Press. After having the double mastectomy, her chances of developing breast cancer dropped to five percent, according to the Associated Press. 

The BRCA1 gene is a tumor-suppressing gene, which can only be detected by genetic testing, according to CNN.com. Such testing can cost between hundreds to thousands of dollars and is not covered by insurance companies in all cases, according to CNN. 

Only 3 to 5 percent of women who develop breast cancer have a BRCA gene and testing for the gene will only likely help those who have a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancers, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

David Kroll, a Forbes contributor, provided a cautionary perspective Tuesday on Jolie's decision, stating he was concerned that the highly publicized announcement may cause more fear in women with breast cancer and push newly-diagnosed patients toward a double mastectomy, according to the Forbes article. 

He also wrote he worried the announcement may cause some women to steer away from preventative measures, such as regular mammograms and self-examinations, over the fear of a double mastectomy, according to Forbes. 

What do you think about Jolie's decision and announcement? Let us know in the comments section. 

junefox May 14, 2013 at 03:54 PM
I think she will do anything to get publicity. For what reason did she feel a need to keep such a private decision public? One word.........publicity.
Channing Grant May 14, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Women are jealous of Angelina so they put her down when they can. Junefox is an example. They wish they looked like her.
Procrustes' Foil May 15, 2013 at 10:48 AM
David Kroll's comments are really stupid. Women are smart enough to know about breast health and how to take care of themselves. His comments are patronizing and demeaning to women. Since when is Forbes Magazine an expert on women's health?
Jennifer Wilson May 15, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Junefox, I agree/disagree. I think she went public because A) it was inevitable that the world would speculate on her boobs and B) I genuinely think she wants to bring awareness of BRCA testing to the public and possibly shame insurance companies into paying for it. Ms Jolie doesn't have the luxury we have of taking our privacy for granted as hers is regularly violated. For a decision like this, I'm sure I'd prefer any statements came directly from me and not some rag magazine talking about a desperate attempt to keep Brad. As far as Forbes statement that women will stop preventative actions and fear double mastectomy, no. Sorry guys. Women are a lot smarter than that. Women share our experiences to help other women. It's pretty natural for most of us. It's why we tell our child birth stories, our bad dates and talk about our experiences with life changing decisions. I think the more women, especially those known for their beauty and sexuality, express that their lives are far more important than their boobs, the less mystery there will be about the procedure, the more awareness and the more knowledge that life goes on and you will still be beautiful, sexy and alive.


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