Angelina Jolie: I Had Double Mastectomy

Angelina Jolie underwent a double mastectomy because she had an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer, she writes in a powerful op-ed in Monday’s New York Times. Jolie’s mother died of breast cancer at age 56, and the actress writes that her children had “asked if the same thing could happen to me.” She carries a “faulty” gene, or BRCA1, which means she not only had an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer, but also has a 50 percent chance of getting ovarian cancer. “Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and minimize the risk as much as I could,” Jolie writes. On April 27 she had the last medical procedure as part of the mastectomies—and her chance of developing breast cancer dropped to under 5 percent.