Cancer. This one little word strikes fear into the hearts of many, with everyone having been directly or indirectly affected by this terrible disease.

Yesterday the news broke that Angelina Jolie had undergone a preventative double mastectomy after she published an op-ed piece in The New York Times, which you can read here. In the piece she describes her medical journey and gives details into the procedures she underwent in removing both her breasts.

Although everyone is entitled to their own opinions on Angelina, there is no doubt that this was an extreme act of bravery and courage by the 37-year-old mother of six to undertake such a large scale procedure for her health and moreso to even publish her story in such a public media outlet.

After testing positive for a genetic mutation known as BRCA1, her doctors told her that she had a staggering 87% risk of developing breast cancer and a 50% risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Having lost her mother at age 56 in 2007 to ovarian cancer, Angelina made the decision to proactively undergo the preventative double mastectomy to minimise these risks. Over a course of three months, Angelina underwent a series of procedures that started in early February and ended in late April this year. 

“…I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.”

“For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.”

I commend Angelina for her bravery and for using her celebrity status and name to draw attention to a disease that remains so important and relevant in our society.

You can learn more about cancer from or visit your GP for further information.


Image: Bigpond

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  • Reply BellaB Wednesday 3rd July, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Absolutely, she’s got guts. And I liked how careful she was to stress that it’s different for everyone. I don’t agree with all her life choices, but the woman behaves with class.

  • Reply yslyenom Thursday 6th June, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    If I were her, I don’t know if I would be strong enough to undergo this procedure.

  • Reply LJB Sunday 2nd June, 2013 at 12:25 am

    I have read so much controversy over Angelina Jolie’s personal choice to undergo preventative surgery. Obviously she had to go public with such a radical operation to get in front of the petty media in the USA, but what I wonder is why does she care. She’s made her fame and fortune and would obviously sooner be a mother than an actress at this point in her life… and she has Brad Pitt.

  • sommy7
    Reply sommy7 Thursday 30th May, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I hope all goes well now for Angie

  • Reply dj23249 Wednesday 22nd May, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Such a hard choice to make, good on her for going public to raise awareness

  • judi1
    Reply judi1 Friday 17th May, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    I commend her courage and putting the message out there!

  • Reply tarraise Thursday 16th May, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Very courageous. Many women are forced to make the same choice because of such a vicious disease. Hopefully the publicity will encourage more women to check.

  • Reply amanda6393 Thursday 16th May, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Very difficult decision.

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