Angelina Jolie reveals she had a double mastectomy in a moving NYT op-ed

Angelina Jolie wrote an op-ed, published in today’s New York Times, in which she discusses her medical decision to have a double-mastectomy. Angelina’s mother Marcheline battled cancer for a decade – Marcheline was diagnosed when Angelina was in her early 20s. I think Marcheline’s cancer battle and death in 2007 was one of the most devastating things that has ever happened to Angelina, and it gave Angelina the sense that she would probably die young like her mother. She’s always said variations of “The women in my family die young” and that’s why she always said she chose to have so many kids so fast – she wanted to be able to enjoy motherhood while she could. Well, Angelina’s doctors told her that she has/had a very high risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer, so she underwent the double mastectomy over the past three months. Here’s her NYT op-ed:

MY MOTHER fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.

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. I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman. Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.

Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.

On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work.

But 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.

My own process began on Feb. 2 with a procedure known as a “nipple delay,” which rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area. This causes some pain and a lot of bruising, but it increases the chance of saving the nipple.

Two weeks later I had the major surgery, where the breast tissue is removed and temporary fillers are put in place. The operation can take eight hours. You wake up with drain tubes and expanders in your breasts. It does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film. But days after surgery you can be back to a normal life.

Nine weeks later, the final surgery is completed with the reconstruction of the breasts with an implant. There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful.

I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.

It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.

I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.

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 acknowledge that there are many wonderful holistic doctors working on alternatives to surgery. My own regimen will be posted in due course on the Web site of the Pink Lotus Breast Center. I hope that this will be helpful to other women.

Breast cancer alone kills some 458,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. It has got to be a priority to ensure that more women can access gene testing and lifesaving preventive treatment, whatever their means and background, wherever they live. The cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2, at more than $3,000 in the United States, remains an obstacle for many 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, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.

Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.

[From The NY Times]

Damn, she made me get all teary first thing in the morning. Man. I think this is beautifully written and beautifully thought-out. Angelina has always feared that she would not be around to see her children grow up, and I think this will give her peace of mind for a while. She makes it sound like she’s going to undergo some preventative measures for her ovarian cancer risk as well – what would that involve? A partial or total hysterectomy? I think it’s lovely that Brad was there to support her every step of the way, and I like how she explained the surgeries (because I didn’t realize that it was such a multi-stage process). God bless her.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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379 Responses to “Angelina Jolie reveals she had a double mastectomy in a moving NYT op-ed”

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  1. Suze says:

    I got all teary reading that this morning, too. I think she performed a service for many women here, many of whom are facing the same terrifying situation she is.

    I am impressed with her openness about this.

    • Onasan says:

      Yes, a true testament of the power of a mother’s love.

      Also, what I find really sad is that these gene tests cost $3,000 …. I hope there is some way they can be made available to all those who want/need it.

      • M says:

        It’s true, the cost is over 3K. I had it done at a military facility so it was free but not just anyone can get it. I had to apply for it.

      • L says:

        It’s so expensive because the company that discovered it, but a g-damn patent on the test, the BRAC1 gene and the BRAC2 gene. (including all apparent mutations) Because apparently you can put a patent on a damn gene. This keeps anyone else from researching it or making another diagnostic test. Because you know, MONEY. (this subject fills me with rage)

        Although the court case is still pending the patents start expiring in 2014, so I’m hoping that the test can become much more affordable then.

      • Rumorhasit says:

        In 1953 Jonas Salk created the Polio vaccine and refused to patent/copywrite it.
        At the time he said it was for the benefit of humanity….where are these kinds of people today?
        I share your outrage.

      • Darlene says:

        And once you get a positive test, you have to convince the insurance company to pay for your mastectomy/reconstruction – and then you also have to live with the fear that some day they’re going to hold your genetic test against you as “preexisting”…my mom had aggressive breast cancer in the late 80s and had a double mastectomy. Her implants started leaking after 10 years, but the insurance company wouldn’t pay a dime b/c the implants “were good for 12 years”, even though all the doctors agreed that hers were leaking into her body cavity and surrounding tissues. She had to wait it out for two more years and then she had tram-flap to get rid of the implants altogether (most people don’t realize that implants aren’t “forever”). Her breasts do not look “normal” in any way, shape or form, but she has 100% her own flesh inside of her and she’s thrilled. (and she had to fight insurance for even a dime to cover it all)

        I hate insurance companies, can you tell?

      • Marie says:


        I’m so happy you’re mom is a survivor! Yes, insurance is the worst. My mom died from breast cancer a few years ago and it’s still the worst heartbreak I’ve experienced. Cycle of life? Yes, but it SUCKS.

        Big hugs to your mom : )

      • Mac says:

        The pharmaceutical industry has little interest in developing cures for anything.

        They’d much rather treat illnesses by requiring people to take their medications every day for the rest of their lives

      • Samtha says:

        Re: insurance. It is a sad truth that in the US, getting any kind of genetic testing like this can keep you from getting insurance or being covered for certain conditions. It’s more of a barrier for me than the price tag.

        Our healthcare system is completely broken.

      • Lucrezia says:

        I agree Myriad should stop being asshats about enforcing their patent, but – to be fair – the BRCA tests still cost $1500 in Australia, where the patent is not enforced (so there is competition between labs).

        $3k to $1500 is a decent price drop, but it’s not like Myriad is making $3,000 off something that only costs $10 (which is the ridiculous profit margin on a lot of meds.) It’s actually a massive battery of tests, because they have to individually look for each known BRCA mutation (of which there are hundreds). I doubt you would ever see the cost much lower than $1k.

      • Lucrezia says:

        @ Samantha: happily, you’re completely wrong 🙂

        You can’t be denied health insurance (or charged higher premiums) based on genetic testing. It’s illegal. Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (2008).

        Note: life/disability insurance can still discriminate against you (and so can long-term care insurance policies), but health-insurance companies can not. (Employers can’t make hiring/firing decisions based on it either).

        So if you want to get tested, get tested. (It freaks me out how many Americans still don’t know about this law, when I heard about it here in Oz back when it was passed. So many people avoiding preventative testing because they’re unaware of the new laws … it’s horrifying.)

      • buzz says:

        the way we deliver health care in this country is an absolute obscenity

      • Isabelle says:

        As L says above it’s the Patent that makes it so expensive. Hopefully this opens up dialogue highlighting the issue of why it’s so expensive and maybe releasing the patent.

    • Marie says:

      I wonder if Chelsea Handler and others are feeling proud of themselves and THEIR obviously superior moral life today? Their we’re rumours a few months back that she had a cancer scare so this makes perfect sense. And those who think she did this to cover up a boob job…grow up.

      • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

        @ Mac there is an article you may be interested in called Confessions of an Rx drug pusher by Gwen Olsen – she was a drug rep.

    • MCraw says:

      I feel the same way. She performed a service, being this open with a very personal story that shares her struggle. It brought home her humanity. That not everything she does is with PR manipulation.

      I think I just got a soft spot for her.

  2. mkyarwood says:

    Thanks for covering this. I think it’s obvious why she was ‘too skinny’ for awhile there.

    • M says:

      Yes, I think it explains it too. She was so skinny. I wonder how long she knew about the test results? You don’t just have a dm just like that. It takes time to come to terms with it.

      Since this is celebitchy, I wonder how long until the tabloids spread some Jen/Angie rumor about Angie’s breast cancer news ruined Jen’s wedding plans? You all know there’s going to be some story. The Jen/Angie thing is so played out. If Jennifer Anniston really isn’t over how Brad Pitt treated her and everything she does with Justin is to counter a Brange action, She’s more insecure and pathetic than what I though.

      That’s my bitch for today.

      • joy says:

        Yes, it is played out as you just displayed. Thus isn’t the post to bring it up, so don’t.

      • Kim1 says:

        Funny how the tabloid insiders were clueless about all these procedures over the last few months.I saw this story three hours ago and Im constantly amazed at the hatred directed at Angie,comments calling this Karma,wishing she had cancer ,calling her an attention whore.This hatred makes me more determined to send her love and positive energy.She could have remained silent about this but she used her spotlight to inform and empower others.Thank you Angie

      • Amelia says:

        I’m starting to think the phenomena that is the mentioning of either Jolie or Aniston in a thread that’s focus is on the other deserves a name like Godwin’s Law.
        Really, now isn’t the time to wonder if Jen is collapsing by the phone and dissolving into tears, or if Angie is quietly plotting an evil plan with Zahara to take down Aniston and conquer the world.
        I just really want to send my best wishes to an incredibly strong woman who’s setting a fantastic example for so many.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        @Amelia-Exactly!! Unbelievable. If you claim to love Jolie so much then the very least you could do is show some damn respect. This is neither the time nor the place for petty gossip-what this woman went through is very, very serious.

        I can’t applaud her enough for being so brave to not only make such a difficult decision, but to also take the time to inform the public about how extensive and involved the reconstructive process is. I would have never had any idea how complicated and time-consuming the whole procedure is from test results to final surgery. So much respect for Jolie for not only enduring what has to be a physically and emotionally painful process, but also taking the time to educate the public. Great woman and I wish her well.

      • bob says:

        @Amelia, the Joliston Concurrence?

        I’m pleased for her that she’s been able to make an active decision. I know people who expect to get certain cancers due to genetic history and it’s heartbreaking to see them watch their future in the suffering of their loved ones.

    • Eleonor says:

      I thought the same thing.

    • Marie says:

      What you mean she wasn’t getting skinny because of heroine or an eating disorder? Chelsea Handler will be so disappointed.

  3. LadyJane says:

    A friend put the link up on FB for the NY Times article and I read it without knowing who wrote it until the mention of her partner “Brad Pitt”. It made me see her for the first time as a woman, a mother and a human first, and a celebrity last. And for the first time, my view of her wasn’t clouded by my preconceptions of who I thought she was. She has all my admiration. What a brave and beautiful way to share her very private experience, to benefit all women. Thanks Angelina.

    • brin says:

      +1 Well said. She has her priorities in order and I have so much respect for her. She’s a strong, brave woman and I wish her well.

    • watchingyoubitch says:


    • catt says:


    • Really says:


      • MacScore says:

        Wow – she has just sky-rocketed in my estimation. Eloquent, brave, thoughtful, and utterly humane. Wonderfully done, Angie, thank you – you have done all women a great service. Bless you.

    • Hipocricy says:


    • mercy says:

      Agreed. It’s a potent reminder that we’re all human, something very important in this increasingly cynical, hard-ass culture we live in.
      True, some celebs contribute mightily to that culture and bring crap on themselves, but that doesn’t excuse the everyday meanness based on little more than gossip, rumour, innuendo and our own preconceptions and need to vent.

      I’m already hearing rumblings that this is part of ‘promotion’ for her partner’s upcoming film, or ‘How will Jen top this?’ Please. Let it go.

      Speaking as someone who has lost a loved one to cancer and faces hereditary risk factors of her own, I can relate to her feelings and am very grateful that she used her platform to give a voice to my fears, concerns, and anxiety. I know it might sound corny, but as I read her essay last night I had feelings of relief and strength.

      All I can say is thank you to Angelina, and everyone else who has come forward to share their experiences. You have undoubtedly saved more than a few lives with your openness and honesty.

  4. Amelia says:

    Bless her.
    I hope she’s feeling alright, and I’m so impressed that she’s decided to go public with it.
    If her goal was to raise awareness and get women (and men) thinking about their susceptibility, I think she’s definitely suceeded. I’m already reading bits and bobs on the internet about how X, Y and Z are considering being genetically screened following a family history.
    Love this woman. Angie, I hope you have a long, healthy, happy life 🙂

    • Janet says:

      I remember when Betty Ford went public with her breast cancer and millions of women went to their doctors for mammograms. Just by bringing her cancer out in the open she probably saved several hundred lives. Angie may have saved several hundred more.

      • Val says:

        Janet – I’m glad I’m not the only person who thought of Bettie Ford. Just checked: that was almost 40 years ago – 1974. Mrs. Ford’s willingness to talk about cancer and her mastectomy had a significant and positive impact on her generation, their daughters, and our society as a whole. Seems to me Ms. Jolie’s openness about her situation is another big step forward on that same path.

  5. LadyMTL says:

    Honestly, this just blows me away. Think what you want about her style, her life, her tattoos and so on but wow…to go through that must have been rough. (Albeit not as rough as cancer would have been).

    She’s only a year older than I am and I get shivers just thinking about having a mastectomy, and I don’t have 6 children to worry about. Congrats to her for having the courage to go through with it, and I wish her a speedy recovery.

  6. Delia says:

    Love her

  7. T.Fanty says:

    This is extraordinary. I have so much respect for this woman.

    I have friends who have made the decision to have preventative mastectomies. I can’t even imagine how difficult a decision it must be. Losing one’s breast is such a psychologically difficult thing to face. Our breasts are a symbol of femininity – whether it’s sexuality or maternity – and from what I understand, to lose that can be very disorienting.

    I hope she can help other women facing this.

    • Micki says:

      That’s true style, isn’t it?

      Taking the bull by the horns and writing personally about it, no “sources”, no pity party, no nothing.
      Yes, she’s a true class.

      • Rhea says:

        This! Such a classy and brave woman. It takes a lot of courage to have that surgery done, then sharing that with the world.

        And to think that the tabloids always claimed that they have “sources” inside the Jolie-Pitt circle. Meh!

        I wish a speedy recovery for her!!

    • V4Real says:

      My co worker and now friend had breast cancer. She removed both breast but she never went through with the recontruction part of it. It’s just been too much for her. She also has type 2 diabetes and asthma. She has a great support system but it’s still a lot for her to bear. She recently found out her mom has breast cancer and her father I think just had surgery for prostate cancer.
      Another coworker thought she beat breast cancer but it came back and spread to other places, she died a few years ago. I applaude Angie for going public with this; hopefully it would give my friend and others the encouragement they need.

    • Crumpets and Crotchshots says:

      She is an amazing person, unparalleled. I have so much admiration for her.

      My mother had breast cancer twice. I’m glad she mentioned that gene test, because it is very inaccessible for most women in the US. My insurance won’t cover it, so I would have to pay out of pocket.

      So iwas ready to that, and guess what? My mother gets all hysterical about it because if I test positive, I could be denied health insurance in the future. We need healthcare reform folks!

      • T.Fanty says:

        That never fails to blow my mind. I simply don’t understand how anyone can, in good conscience, vote against healthcare reform.

      • Gia says:

        It’s unbelieveable to me that in a country like the US, people are still paying for healthcare and relying on insurance companies to cover their medical costs…if they’re lucky. In Canada, the testing is covered by our Provincial Health Care Plan as long as the patient meets the criteria:

        •multiple cases of breast or ovarian cancer on same side of the family, especially

        ◦— in closely related relatives,

        ◦— in more than 1 generation, and

        ◦— when breast cancer is diagnosed before age 50;

        •a family member with breast cancer diagnosed before age 35;

        •a family member with both breast and ovarian cancers;

        •an Ashkenazic Jewish heritage, particularly with relatives with breast or ovarian cancer;

        •a family member with primary cancer in both breasts, especially if diagnosed before age 50;

        •a family member with ovarian cancer;

        •a family history of male breast cancer; or

        •a family member with an identified BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

      • Suze says:


        Please get tested if you need to:

        It is *ILLEGAL* to be denied health insurance or to be charged higher premiums based on the results of genetic testing.

        Also, employers cannot discriminate in their hiring practices based on genetic testing.

        This act does not apply to life insurance or disability insurance.

        Please see Lucrezia’s post above for more informaiton.

      • Lucrezia says:

        C&C … are you on a grandfathered insurance plan?

        Under any non-grandfathered plan, BRCA testing for women with a family history indicating possible BRCA mutations should be completely free (no co-pay or anything).

        (I think recurring breast-cancer in your mum might be enough to classify you as high-risk, but you may need other cases in the family … would depend on how strict your doctor was being.)

        Also, they can’t deny you health insurance (or charge you extra based on genetic results)! Grandma hasn’t kept up with policy – that was changed in 2008! (I can see I’m going to be spamming this link through the thread:

        Go, speak to your doctor, get tested if you want 🙂

        Edit: Suze beat me by a few minutes. (I type slow.) Looks like two of us spamming GINA info (which is good – the more the merrier!)

      • Karma says:


        People can opposed it because it wasn’t really healthcare reform. It was the health insurance company profit protection bill. You would be shocked to know what a health insurance CEO (and the entire industry) did to help Obama get elected instead of Hillary. And you may or may not know, that the Dems literally threw the public option (the cost control) out of room at the very start of the Congressional healthcare hearings.

        So it just enshrined the problem it didn’t really fix it. That bill was a Republican bill/Heritage Foundation bill/Bob Dole bill/free-market solution bill. I can’t tell you as a liberal how horrible it was to watch Dems on tv mock Reps for not supporting a Rep bill. Kabuki theater all of it.

        Anyway, it wasn’t a Canadian or British type of healthcare bill. And it won’t solve the problem to have an insurance company/middle man extracting profit margins out of healthcare funds.

        My mom died at 40 due to breast cancer after fighting it for five years. When it came back the last time it devastated the family finances.

        That said, Angelina’s Op-Ed is amazing, tears were streaming down my face this morning.

      • Emily says:

        It was a step toward fixing the problem. And without it, I would not have the health insurance I need to get the care I need for my disability right now. Millions of people are just like me. We do not live in a perfect world, and government is not perfect. Opposing a bill that right here, right now, in this world we actually live in, saves lives and livelihoods and makes millions of people’s lives better does not wash.

        Idealism’s all very well, but try living in horrible pain every single day and see what that does to it. I don’t care about what “should” be done, I care about what can be done. If the choice is between imperfect and nothing, I’ll take the imperfect, thanks.

      • Karma says:


        I am genuinely happy that you have healthcare right now.

        However, you’ve taken liberties with my post. I’m not looking for ‘perfect’ and ‘idealism’ is for children/the immature. That bill stands in the way of real healthcare reform. That isn’t ‘idealism’, that’s a cold, hard, evaluation of the facts. Of which you probably aren’t aware and why it does ‘wash’.

        I do know what it’s like living in excruciating pain everyday. So please save that type of argument for someone else.

        But that healthcare bill has put millions of people further away from healthcare with no hope of it being resolved. It isn’t a step in the right direction, it’s a door being slammed shut. And that you don’t know the who, what, where, why, and how, but only care that you and your millions got yours…

        That’s fine, but I’m one of those millions put further away and because of that bill will probably die without healthcare insurance.

        So congrats to you. Truly, congratulations. Once again, I am genuinely happy for you.

      • Emily says:

        Unless you live in Florida, you live in a state that has a state-sponsored group that allows people who cannot afford health insurance to get health insurance. Further, the bill says that anyone at or below the poverty line (and slightly above it, iirc), will get Medicaid in 2014.

        The bill did not slam doors shut. It did not take health insurance from anyone, or forbid anyone from getting it — exactly the reverse. The insured still has to pay out-of-pocket, which is a very serious problem, but see the above about groups that help people who cannot afford that do it. (Even Florida must come to its senses pretty soon.)

        Further, no law is immutable. This was one first step, not the final one. People are working hard to make things better right now. No one thinks our healthcare system is fixed, and thanks to this bill and everything surrounding it, people are a lot more educated in the matter. And thanks to the bill, a lot more people have health insurance and can simply survive another day to keep fighting.

      • Karma says:


        Yes, it did slam doors shut.

        That you can’t conceive of how that might happen, or how much is actually wrong, and then go to those points as solutions only shows how screwed the millions like me are.

        Like I said, it was great that you got healthcare. But like it or not, while you got picked up out of the cracks millions of others were shoved into them. It just shifted the problem.

        I guess we can pick up this discussion in 2014 when the stats of uninsured millions remain, despite Obamacare being fully implemented.

      • Mia says:

        I live in Ontario, Canada and that gene testing is out of pocket as well, so please don’t pretend as if the government taking over healthcare everything will be free, besides the fact we pay for it out of taxes and have months usually to wait to see a specialist, and don’t talk to me about how much is covered when you have cancer, if it wasn’t us for going to the US for my father’s cancer treatments he wouldn’t be with is now.

        My friend who lives in New York , her mother Insurance covered her gene testing she just had to have records, doctors authorization that her family history made her a high risk for the gene.

      • Karma says:


        I assume you are talking to me since I pulled Canada into the mix. My point about bringing up the public option. Is that when negotiations/hearings on the healthcare bill were first being conducted, the public option was thrown out of the room. And that’s literally, in the proper usage, being thrown out of the room, and the door locked behind them.

        It’s as big a gift to the health insurance industry, as Bush’s law was that kept Medicare from negotiating pill prices, were to Big Pharma. You don’t go into negotiations and leave the best negotiating tool out of the conversation from the very start. Unless of course the deck is stacked for not having cost controls and the negotiations were a scam (actually several scams by that point) on the American people.

        I wasn’t saying that Canada is the end all be all. And I’m fully aware of trips the US, long waits, no doctors for hundreds of miles, paid for by taxes, etc But that does have, ‘everybody has healthcare’, that people like Emily seems to think happened with Obamacare.

        It didn’t.

        It’s a bad law. It doesn’t have the proper cost controls. It blocks competition from other insurance companies in other states and from the public option. Like I said, it just enshrined the problem and protects their profits.

        And that’s just one facet of what’s wrong. I could go on for days how it protects the health insurance industry vs the American people.

      • Karma says:

        Oops, sorry Mia, saw Gia’s comment above.


  8. menlisa says:

    I was moved to tears reading this.
    What a truly remarkable mother.

  9. neelyo says:

    Nothing. Just happy for her and her family.

  10. Badirene says:

    I read this early this morning on The Daily Mail site (day off work and nothing else to do in my little corner of Ireland) and my respect for her shot through the roof. I hope she has a long, healthy life and enjoys many healthy, happy years with her family.

    I then made the mistake of reading some of the comments on the story, long story short there are some really hateful people in this world.

    • watchingyoubitch says:

      I read on dailymail too…those evil comments
      Who are these people?

      • Mia 4S says:

        Who are they? Dailymail readers. It’s best to just avert your eyes unless you have something to punch.

        Once her health and family situation allow I hope she can be an advocate for improving accessibility to these tests. I’m a rare woman who has zero history of breast cancer in her family, but I have already lost friends. No one is untouched.

      • jaye says:

        CB is the only place where I read the comments. Thoughtful,insightful,and hilarious people here. I used to read the comments on other blogs and it would seriously make me lose faith in humanity and then I’d come here and faith restored.

        As for AJ, I admire both her courage for sharing this part of her life and her ability to keep it from leaking to the press before she was ready to tell her story.

      • Lindsey says:

        NEVER read comments on the daily mail OR youtube. Those people are the worst.

      • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

        Those are some terrible, hateful comments on that site, with any story. Something in Euro tea/coffee cause sheer bitterness and hatred? But then I look at and UsWeekly and think the same thing about their commenters… Echo that I enjoy just this website and try to ignore the others. Smart, lovely people on CB 🙂

      • bluhare says:

        Don’t blame the Europeans/brits for all the negativity on the DM site. There’s a fair amount of US posters as well.

        A site is positive or negative depending on how it’s run. Some like to encourage the name calling and insults, some don’t. The DM doesn’t appear to mind (and they do moderate!) so it must increase their hits and revenue.

    • ctkat1 says:

      @ jaye- I typically only read and participate in the comments on CB as well, because the people here are smart, insightful and funny…we all have our favorites and our favorites-to-hate, but when real things happen, we respond like decent humans.

      I only read some of the comments on the NYT, and they were pretty great. I am avoiding all other comments, because I am sure they will make me angry.

      • marie says:

        Wrong. The people here are minivan majority who think themselves all those things. And the fact that Brangelina’s posts are the most read proves me right.

      • bluhare says:

        marie: What?? Am I reading your post correctly? Tell me I’m not.

      • BeesKnees says:

        Bluhare- IKR? There are definitely “Brangeloonies” that comment on every Brad/Angelina story, but this website’s commenters are the absolute opposite of the mini van majority.

      • joanne says:

        i rarely comment though i love reading all comments. i find the comments at celebitchy to be thoughtfull and generally positive. other sites, i cannot read the comments as they are so negative and sometimes hatefull. my thanks to all of you, i really enjoy the discussions you have.

  11. whatthehell456 says:

    That’s a very drastic step, but if that was what she felt would give her piece of mind, then I commend her for it. Takes some big balls to have that done, and tell the world about it. Good for her.

  12. mom2two says:

    I give her all the credit for going through with it and sharing her journey in an article.
    There is a history of breast cancer in my family and I often thought if that was something I had to do, I would do it.
    I wish her a speedy recovery and a healthy life.

  13. Buckwild says:

    How beautiful of her to share this very personal story. Hope she will be able to beat the odds (as she believes about the women in her family) and live to see her grandchildren grow up.

  14. notpretentious says:

    That really touched me. What a wonderful thing to do. Much respect.

  15. Toot says:

    Beautiful letter. As a fan of Angelina I knew she had numerous relatives die from cancer, so I was always worried for her.

    I’m glad she’s being proactive.

  16. watchingyoubitch says:

    I got teared eyed..damn you jolie:-(
    this was courageous and i am glad she got support for her partner.

  17. Rumorhasit says:

    Last year at this time, I had just completed my 2 nd surgery to remove my remaining ovary, and to stage the ovarian cancer I had just been diagnosed with. Then I started 6months of Chemotherapy.
    Like Angelina, my mom died in 2008 of breast cancer.
    I have 2 daughters, and I want them to have this BRCA1 test.
    Thank you to all the celebrities who made us aware such genetic testing exists. Because the Doctors sure didn’t.
    And BTW, insurance doesn’t always cover it. But with family histories some of us have, it sure should.

    • lulu1 says:

      My daughter’s paternal grandmother and another member of her family have had breast cancer. I don’t want to worry my daughter unnecessarily early, but at what age can testing me done?

      Thank you for your post.

      • Lucrezia says:

        You can test a foetus. So any time.

        Early testing is actually really good, because if you have BRCA1 mutations, hormonal birth control seems to have some weird effects depending on age.
        If you take it during your teens, it dramatically raises your risk of breast cancer, but if you take it for 5-6 years during your late-twenties or early 30’s it has only a tiny effect on breast cancer but HALVES your risk of ovarian cancer.

        So it’s best to know early & match birth-control to suit. That way you have the best odds of being able to delay preventative hysterectomy/mastectomy until after you’ve had kids.

      • Mairead says:

        That’s great info Lucrezia; you’re on the ball today!

    • Rumorhasit says:

      I’m still waiting to hear back from my insurance co to see if they even can have the test.
      But so far my youngest who is 12 can’t be taken in to an OBGYN for routine exams due to her age. In spite of the fact she’s a fully functioning female, if you get the drift. I’m upset about this because I think testing and exams ESP with our family history are crucial. My little cousin was 18 when she had her hysterectomy.

      • Lucrezia says:

        Okay, that “12 year olds can’t see an Ob-Gyn” thing is weird. (I can actually think of several reasons an child might need a ob-gyn.)

        Anyway, you shouldn’t need to see an ob-gyn for a genetic test: simple blood test (or oral swab). If your insurance is not a grandfathered plan, your kids should be classed as high-risk, and the BRCA test should be free (no co-pay or anything). The decision about whether they’re high-risk would be up to the doctor, not the insurance company.

      • Rumorhasit says:

        The OB question was just in reference to basic health care, just to get the girls seen, and to hopefully get a baseline “normal” evaluation for them ASAP so that should anything start to look or feel or present anything out of the ordinary we can be on top of it. That was not clearly stated in my prior post.
        The genetic test can happily be done on anyone, but the lack of insurance coverage would make it cost prohibitive, I have 2 girls to test. The doctor advised me to see if we are even covered before taking it the next step.

      • Lucrezia says:

        Just for clarity: I believed you about the ob-gyn, just found it a bizarre rule. But then I’m not in the US, so things are set-up a little differently (general tests would be done by the GP … bad results you’d go skip past the ob-gyn and go straight to a gyno-oncologist. Now that I think about it, the only people I know who’ve seen an ob-gyn are pregnant women.)

        As I said above, tests for the girls should be covered unless you’re on some grandfathered plan. If you aren’t covered, there is possibly a cheaper way…

        I would assume you’ve been tested (it would’ve helped them identify the best treatment for you.) If you get your results, and find out exactly which mutation you have, then you can just test them for that single mutation instead of testing for everything. Much cheaper: $300-$400 to test for one specific thing, rather than $3k for the entire battery. (Original Mia mentions doing that somewhere down-thread: she knew what her mother had, so knew what to test for.)

    • Suze says:

      rumor – I am glad your procedures are over and went well. I admire your decisions and strength.

      And I agree, insurance is evil. I am sending health vibes to you and your daughter.

      • Rumorhasit says:

        And here’s my little PSA….
        I had a 5 pound tumor pressing down on my lower abdomen. It was painful, made me look pregnant, and caused me to pee about every 20 minutes around the clock. I had a lot of back pain. It took 3 months of testing to find out I didn’t have a bladder infection, kidney issues, or anything wrong with my back. The OBGYN palpitated something at her exam, and sent me for an ultrasound, which showed this huge tumor. Surgery was scheduled to remove it, and my doctor, aware that I wanted a hysterectomy at 36 (due to family history of cancer and severe fibroid issues and Kaiser insurance refused to cover). At the age of 42 we found this tumor and my dr asked if I wanted a partial hysterectomy since she would already be area adjacent. So that’s what we did. And the pathology came back as cancer in the right ovary. So we had to go back in get the other one out, take a few lymph nodes, get some of the surrounding tissue(but sadly she couldn’t do more of a lypo type procedure which would have been most appreciated). We learned the cancer hadn’t spread, but was contained in the one ovary. I had no symptoms of cancer. It was a fluke it was discovered. It’s all gone now, and 6months after my last chemo, my most recent CT scan shows no cancer.
        So be proactive ladies. Talk to your aunts, grandmas, moms and cousins, you might be surprised what you don’t know about them. Ask for and in some cases demand tests. Question the results. Get 2nd and 3rd opinions. Make and keep routine exams….
        As I type this, it’s the only reason I’m alive today.

    • jaye says:

      Now we have to figure out a way to put pressure on the company that so greedily put a patent on a GENE and the test to detect that gene, and/or the insurance companies to cover the damn test.

  18. teehee says:

    I have to jump to a critique that she was probably motivated by fear mroe than she needed to be- having been impacted by her mothers passing and fearing for her childrens wellbeing should the same happen to her. I cant help but think more frequent checkups would be able to catch something early enough should anything happen– but then, there is no peace of mind. I suppose the anxiety and memories of what happened or could happen is reason enough to jump to such a drastic measure. So good luck to her and it should definitely soften most womens’ fears about the entire matter, whether it be checkups or actual mastectomies.

    • Selena says:

      Unfortunately often checkups only find the cancer when it is too late. I say often but it is still better to have those checkups and as the wonderful sadly missed Chrissy Amphlett said “Touch yourself”

      BTW why no talk about the beloved Chrissy passing away so young?

      • Oriya says:

        I don’t know who she is. She’s not Angelina Jolie level famous.

      • Selena says:

        Chrissy Amphlett was the lead singer of the Divinyls. She wrote and sang many wonderful songs that appeared in movies etc. “I Touch Myself” was one of the songs they sang and it reached No. 4 in the USA it is about breast cancer self checks. Unfortunately the USA censored the song. She was an inspirational beautiful woman who fought a brave battle with breast cancer and MS. No you may not have known who she was, she wasn’t “Angelina level famous” but that does not make her less worthwhile. She made self checks for a new generation a topic of interest. She made great music and was a true trailblazer for many of the female music artists of today. The sentence at the end of my comment was directed to the moderator. I thought that Chrissy’s passing might deserve a comment.

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t think fears like that are bad motivators. I personally started taking better care of my health — and addressed things I never would have if I hadn’t had kids — because when I became a mom I felt like I owed it to them to be as healthy as possible.

      Kudos to her for wanting to be the best mom she can be and for sharing her story.

    • The Original Mia says:

      Critique? Really? My mother, grandmother, aunt, great aunt and God knows who else had breast cancer. Due to my family history, I started having yearly mammogram at 25. Sometimes I had insurance. Other times I didn’t, but I found a way to have the mammogram. Then my mother, who had survived cervical cancer for 10 years, found out she had breast cancer too. In the midst of her own care, she pushed for me to have the test. I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to know. I thought I could continue to have my yearly exams and be safe. When I finally pulled my head out of the sand and had the test, I discovered I did have the gene. I was 35. 3 years younger than my grandmother when she had her double mastectomy. I made the same procedure Angelina did. I do not regret it. Fear? You damn right I was scared. Scared to death of dying. Scared to death of having a young family and leaving them with a legacy of death. I find your critique insulting.

      • Rumorhasit says:

        There is nothing more impactful than watching a healthy, self sufficient, proactive middle aged woman who loved to travel, become a hollow shell of existence over a 3 year period, as this hideous disease robs you of your sufficiency, well being, money, and dignity.
        If that doesn’t motivate you to make some changes in how you live your life, and the decisions you make, you are a lost cause.
        For women with family histories and genetic mutations, we KNOW what lies ahead. And chose not to go that route. Because we have watched the women in our families go this way before us. And it’s not pretty.
        For some of us, the precious knowledge that our feminine core, our outward symbol of femininity, motherhood, and what it means to be a woman-, are nothing more than cesspools, breeding grounds for cancer, and we are better off without them.

      • Lilo says:

        Absolutely. Critique at this point, this very personal issure ist absolutely unnecessary. Don’t ever underestimate the fear of dying, people. Don’t underestimate the fear of leaving your kids, your family behind. If you had the test and knew your fate, there is but only one decision. And this desicion is personal. I don’t get how people have the audacity to judge, critizise and look down on women. This is our life, our body, our family. I would do anything to live and be able to be with my family, to be able to see my kids grow up. I love Angelina for discussing this in public and raising awareness of how damed expensive the tests and procedures are. It’s a shame. I am so glad to live in Germany, where most medical procedures are paid without any problems. That aside, I applaud ANY women (and men, they get breastcancer too) who goes through this ordeal. Bravo.

      • Isa says:

        With those odds, there’s no way I would want to spend the rest of my life waiting for cancer to show up.

      • Clarissa says:

        According to my path-anatomy professor it makes much more sense to remove the ovaries because this instantly drops the risk of developing breast cancer. 50% for ovarian cancer is a damn high number considering the fact that it is very difficult to diagnose and most of the time found to late. It is also very agressive and prone to spread in the abdominal cavity. On the other hand breast cancer is one of the “best” cancers treatmentwise.
        But I can also understand that she was in fear of getting breast cancer and I think it is very, very brave to undergo the treatment and then talk about it in public.

      • Lilo says:

        Personally, I believe she will have her ovaries removed but will not go public with it. Which is her right, absolutely. 50% is just too damn high a risk, so it would make sense. I know I would even though I don’t have any kids yet.

      • Trashaddict says:

        Original Mia- Great that you stood up to your fear! Fear is one of the worst obstacles in diagnosing and treating cancer. Lots of cancers go untreated because people are afraid of testing, afraid of bad news and avoid the whole thing until it’s too late. How incredibly brave and smart of you. I know there must be many people in your life who are so glad you listened to your gut feelings.

    • Deirdre says:

      But check-ups can still fail.

      Didn’t Michael Douglas say that two doctors failed on two separate occasions to spot his cancer?

      I know it’s not quite the same thing, but still…

    • Rhea says:

      Motivated by fear more than she needed to be?

      Her chances of developing breast cancer was 87 percent! She has 6 kids and her mom died young because of cancer.

      I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell would be afraid too if given that situation.

    • Suze says:

      I think fear is a perfectly decent motivating factor.

      I would do the same thing and be proud to say I did it out of fear.

  19. Dawn says:

    And this is why I respect her for her truthfulness. She didn’t hide it but she didn’t tell anyone until after the fact either. My mother died from Ovarian cancer so I totally understand why she did what she did. I had my overies removed too. I love how she embraces motherhood so, not all celebrities do. Bless her.

  20. paola says:

    For all the bitchy things I said about her in the past i feel so sorry. This woman is a true inspiration and her voice speaks volumes. And her man is just as good.
    Plus this is living proof that if you’re a celebrity you can keep things secret despite the i call bullshit on whoever says that paparazzi won’t leave you alone ever.

    • ahoyhoy says:

      EXACTLY….Brad Pitt & Angelina making at least 5 trips for MAJOR procedures at a ‘breast center’-hospital, and NOBODY FOUND OUT.

      Amazing how that works, huh?

      I love that she was so secret, but now reveals it to help others.

      • fabgrrl says:

        Maybe they dangled their wedding plans out there to throw the press off her track? A smart move, if that is the case, but sad that a person can’t expect privacy for such a difficult and personal matter.

      • Liv says:

        I find it amazing as well! I mean we are talking about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt! I knew most celebritys are able to stay private if they want to, but not that even Angelina and Brad can do this. Good for them.

        And god bless her, she’s so brave and thoughtful! She even acknowledges that there are other ways to deal with it, but shares her experience with women who decide to go the same way. So generous.

      • bluhare says:

        We also have to give HIPPAA a nod as well. No medical personnel treating her could talk about it.

        Hip Hip Hippaa!!!

      • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

        Exactly! Paps usually STAY on their trail..around the world!! I’m sure somebody over at TMZ or Radar are getting their butts chewed out right now lol. Good for Angie, Brad and family – and their team of helpers – for keeping it so secret! It did help that this has been the year for distracting, dramatic pregnancies 🙂 Kimmie K has kept all the chasers busy lately.

      • Lucrezia says:

        Yeah, I was impressed by the fact no-one leaked the story.

        It must have been tempting as hell to gossip about seeing Angelina/Brad. I could honestly understand someone keeping the medical details quiet, but gossiping enough to reveal they saw them at the hospital, and then that leaking out …

        That they managed to keep it completely under wraps speaks very highly of the staff’s ethics.

        Kudos to them all 🙂

      • LAK says:

        This is nothing compared to JFK jr planning a wedding in 1996 and the world only finding out about it when he was on honeymoon and only because an official statement and photo were released.

        The level of pap intrusion in his life makes the current paps/videorazzis babies in comparison. And there were no laws to prohibit their activities then.

  21. The Wizz says:

    She’s an amazing woman, and her actions and announcement is such a game changer in terms of more women considering all options when at risk or in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. If the most beautiful woman in the world, partnered to the sexist man can make this decision and still feel all her femininity (and no one noticed anything different before her announcement) then any woman can.

  22. Apples says:

    This just knocked me over. Beautifully and simply written and I’m in tears.

  23. Kate says:

    As hard has it must’ve been to lose her breasts (although I’m sure she had a great reconstruction), she must have lived with cancer hanging over her head for decades, tormenting her, so hopefully she is at peace with this completely and the pros overwhelm the cons, namely being able to reassure her children. I hope the plastic surgeon gave her a rocking pair of new boobs!

    Also, the tabloids are probably not going to be able to be nasty to her in a very long time (hopefully forever).

    • jaye says:

      I think you may be overestimating the humanity of the people who write for and run tabloid magazines.

      • getitgotit says:

        Ha! Right? I’m sure Jennifer Aniston has something, somewhere to do with this. Like, Brad called Jen for support while Angie was under anesthesia.

  24. Gossip Garl says:

    Gotta love this WOMAN!How could you NOT? Brad is my hero, for sticking with her,being there for her…GOD what a man.Angie RULEZ!!

  25. Tania says:

    Wow. First off, this is the best kept secret ever. Second, my heart goes out to her. I think her going public with this is a really positive thing.

  26. Jaded says:

    My sister-in-law is battling ovarian cancer right now, it’s a dreadful disease, as is breast cancer. Kudos to AJ to come forward with this and raise awareness – she may end up having an oophorectomy (removal of ovaries) at some point and will no doubt have to carefully monitor her situation as ovarian cancer is basically symptomless until it’s too late. God bless!

  27. Lake Mom says:

    I usually find celebrities who use their fame to promote a cause tedious *cough Sean Penn cough* but she is saving lives. Now she may have saved her own. Having a double mastectomy was a brave decision and to go public was even braver…especially in her line of work. She’s an amazing, giving woman.

    • lulu1 says:

      It’s not just about saving lives, it’s about changing attidudes too isn’t it?

      She is a woman known for her iconic beauty. How much time is spent in criticising her appearance, guessing at cosmetic surgeries, judging her weight etc? We tend to confuse ‘stardom’, ‘luck’, ‘perfection’ etc.

      Many, many women living in a society obsessed with physical ‘imperfections’ will be comforted by her courage and open stance, and perhaps, feel a little more beautiful.

      That is why I think what she has done, in every way, is wonderful. From showing her children her scars to telling a public that is often extremely ungracious towards her, what she has chosen to do.

    • bluhare says:

      Say what you will about Sean Penn, but he’s actually mucked in when he had to instead of just going to galas and throwing money at it.

      • allheavens says:

        Yes, Penn puts more than just his money into his causes. You may not like him, but at least he doesn’t just throw money at what he believes.

  28. Andrea says:

    What a brave and difficult choice. I commend her.

    I do hope the convo going forward takes time to consider what a choice like this means for women without the privilege to afford the best plastic surgeons for reconstruction.

    But a very brave, moving thing to do.

  29. Earth to Kelly says:

    What a moving piece. What a way to share your experience. As someone else who also has a very high risk of breast cancer, people are surprised when I tell them I would also have a double masectomy in a minute. Watching my own mother deal with cancer and having my own daughter make it easier to make this choice.

    I say bravo to her. Especially for sharing in such an educational and moving way.

  30. Guesto says:

    So much respect for her and the way she’s chosen to make this public. The thing that really increases my respect for her here is that while she was going through all this, a very traumatic experience in anyone’s terms, she was still travelling and tending very visibly and vocally to her UN work. If that’s not an indication of both her courage and commitment to what she believes in, then I don’t what is.

    Major kudos to her.

  31. SaftD says:

    Chelsea Handler better STFU from now to eternity. Extremely brave.

    • serena says:

      She’ll surely say something, poisonous and evil people like her don’t know when to shut up.

    • M says:

      She’ll find some way to mock her. I can’t stand Chelsea.

    • Nicolette says:

      Yup, and her stupid little friend Jen too. Angelina is what those two will never be……..a real woman.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        removing my comment because it’s not even worth it.

      • LilyB says:

        I so agree, Nicolette. While I am bowled over with real respect for AJ and her choice, all this really goes to show exactly what a FOOL Aniston is.
        Love or hate her, Jolie is a mother, a humanitarian, is “real”. Aniston just seems to be stuck in the same lifestyle she’s had for the last 20 years or so. No depth to her whatsoever, no evolving, no change of even hairstyle.

      • F5 says:

        People bringing up Aniston right now, have gone untreated for too long.

      • Joanna says:

        what does jen have to do with angelina?!!! angie’s not your bestie, I’m sure she’s just fine. and jen’s not your bestie either, and she’s doing just fine. I like both of them. and I don’t see why people constantly feel the need to defend one or the other. They’re big girls, they can take care of themselves. I’m sure neither one of them is putting one bazillionth of a percent the care that strangers are into this gossipy, made up fued. i think both women are grown, live separate lives and don’t give a damn about the other. now if everyone else would just do the same.
        @F5 +1 million

      • Becky1 says:

        Why is anyone bringing Jennifer Aniston into this???? She has absolutely nothing to do with the situation. Also, can we please stop making judgments about who is or isn’t a “real woman.” The last time I checked a woman is anyone over the age of 18 21 (or 21 depending on your line of thinking) with a vagina.

        That being said, I truly admire Angelina for her honesty in regards to this situation and for all of her humanitarian work.

      • Emily says:

        This has nothing to do with Jennifer Aniston. At all. In any way. By commenting about Aniston, you’re taking the spotlight off Jolie, so I must conclude you hate Aniston more than you like Jolie. Even when Angelina Jolie has just written this beautiful piece, it’s Jennifer Aniston who pops into your mind. I do not understand this.

        And they’re all real women. That you don’t like some of them does not make them any less real.

  32. serena says:

    It made me cry. It takes so much courage to do what she did, I’m filled with admiration, and really wish her all the best.

  33. Jane says:

    Bless her, Brad and their family. This must have been a very hard family decision. I also cried as the article was so heart felt and well written.

    Guess this proves once and for all that tabloids and gossips know jack about this couple.

  34. floretta50 says:

    I have personally experienced the devastating results of breast and other cancers, they ravish the body it is not a pretty sight when these disease get a hold of you. To each his own,a double mastectomy was Jolie’s decision, her right and choice,but I think Jolie went a little bit overboard. Why not cut up this,that and the other parts of the body if you are so afraid of getting cancer. Not because you have the money to do it and can do it, kind of silly to me.

    • The Wizz says:

      Did you read her piece? 87% chance of getting the disease that has killed the women in her family. If I got that sort of diagnosis I’d do exactly the same thing.

      • pwal says:

        I’m fairly sure that her maternal uncles succumbed to cancer as well. In fact, I think that they passed away before they reached 60.

        So no, I don’t think this is a radical step, given the medical history on the maternal side of her family tree.

    • Suze says:

      Jolie watched her mother die of this terrible disease at a relatively young age and she has six children who she wants to see grow up. She was also given the statistic of an 87% probability of breast cancer without surgery. Those are what I would call compelling reasons to make this decision, drastic as it is.

      I don’t see anywhere in this story that she just had the surgery because she had enough money to do it. And I certainly don’t agree that it was a “silly” decision – I think it was probably thought out extensively.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      Because many times actual doctors with actual degrees highly recommend the procedure.

    • cr says:

      It’s not as if she got the results and got rid of her breasts the next morning. It’s not an easy decision to make, for anyone:

      “CHICAGO — Her latest mammogram was clean. But Deborah Lindner, 33, was tired of constantly looking for the lump…Ever since a DNA test had revealed her unusually high chance of developing breast cancer, Ms. Lindner had agonized over whether to have a mastectomy, a procedure that would reduce her risk by 90 percent…But she was sure that her own mother, who had had chemotherapy and a mastectomy after a bout with the cancer that had ravaged generations of her family, would agree it was necessary.
      “It could be growing inside of me right now,” she told her mother on the phone in February, pacing in her living room here. “We could find it any time.”
      Waiting for an endorsement, she added, “I could schedule the surgery before the summer.”
      But no approval came.
      “Oh, sweetheart,” her mother said. “Let’s not rush into this.””

    • The Original Mia says:

      Are you serious? You can’t be serious. A cut here. A cut there. Really?

    • Kloops says:

      Completely disagree. Cancer is also a significant part of my life. I am going to lose two amazing women in a few short months. Women who are mothers to young children themselves. In my experience you act fast and decisively with cancer. Breasts are not important. And I know many women who have lost them and they all laugh at that thought. Obviously every situation is unique but based on what AJ’ has shared, this was a pretty easy and logical decision. Her true bravery is sharing it.

    • Emily says:

      If I had an 87% chance of getting cancer from my arms, I’d get rid of my arms. Breasts? With that kind of chance, they’d be gone without even having to think about it.

      But what I think or what you think doesn’t matter. This was Angelina Jolie’s decision — hers alone. And it’s not anyone’s place to criticize her for it.

      • Jenna says:

        Emily you are exactly right, or at least exactly where my brain goes in this. Breast cancer runs high in my family and it’s something I try not to stare at too directly too much of the time or I’ll send myself over the edge but I’ve already told a few different dr who have started hesitantly to wish to talk about ‘options’ with me, waving them quiet and simply stating “the day you, the professional, who went to school for this, tells me my best choice is to cut these off? Don’t bother talking, schedule the surgery and tell me what room to head to, my husband can figure out a bag for me from the house.”

        Do I view my rather ample top (now down to a ‘mere’ natural 34DDD from a former 44HH!) fondly? Yes. Will I gladly hand them over to a doctor for removal to save my life? Damn skippy.

        Also on the list of “If it keeps me alive and with my family longer” – legs, arms, eyes, and whatever organs they will soon figure out how to grow on the back of some rodent in a lab.

        Do I like my bits? Yes. But I love my ~life~ a heck of a lot more. So I totally respect AJ for not only doing what she felt she needed to do but being open about it in order to share and to help others.

  35. Belle Epoch says:

    Agree with everybody. Absolutely blown away. She is a class act and has real substance.

    Imagine dealing with this – and all the other things she does! – knowing her every move would be scrutinized in public.

    I hope the haters don’t get to her. They would definitely hurt me if I was recovering from major surgery so I could live long enough to see my kids grow up.

    Sounds like an oopherectomy/hysterectomy is in her future (sp?)

    • ahoyhoy says:

      She’ll almost certainly have eggs harvested before she removes her ovaries. I can’t imagine her wanting to close the door completely on more bio-kids.

  36. Jackie says:

    I am so totally crying right now. Such a brave thing to do.

  37. lady mary. says:

    God bless this woman! love Angie a lot ,she has grown into a beautiful role model for this society ,wish her all the luck in the world

  38. Anastasia says:

    Amazing. My paternal grandmother had breast cancer. I wonder how I go about getting the gene test? Guess I’ll ask my doctor.

    • The Wizz says:

      I think the major genetic danger with this lies on the maternal women’s side.

      • Sisi says:

        Not really. Men can carry the mutation also and children can inherit it from the male side of the family. But usually the test is done within families where several direct relatives have died at a young age of specific cancers connected to the mutation, which can mean that the family carries the pathogenic mutation of brca1 or 2. The first step you can do is look up the family tree and research yourself if cancer happens regularly to people directly blood related. If a pattern seems to appear, get the test done. – my sister works at a cancer institute and screens bloodtests for brca1 and brca2 within families, mostly female clients, but men too.

      • Emily says:

        Women get an X chromosome from both their father and their mother. Men get an X chromosome from their mother. It’s either side.

      • Lucrezia says:

        What? What??? Where’d the X chromosome come from? Your BRCA genes aren’t on the X chromosome. They’re on chromosome 17 (BRCA1) and chromosome 13 (BRCA2).

        Sisi already got it right, but I’m going to expand on what she said because it seems people are still confused.

        Both males and females receive two of each BRCA gene (one from your mother, one from your father).

        Both males and females with a faulty gene have a 50% chance of passing that fault on to their kids (to both the boys and the girls).

        Both males and females with a faulty gene have a massively increased chance of developing breast cancer.

        The only difference between guys and gals is that male breast-cancer is so rare that a ten-fold (or whatever) increase in risk still means very few cases.

        So if your paternal grandmother had a faulty BRCA gene and passed it on to her son, who passed it on to you, you’re much likely to get breast cancer than he is (because you’re female and he’s male). But compared to other males without the gene, he’s at massive risk.

        However, BRCA faults cause only a minority of breast cancers. If one grandmother is the only example of breast/ovarian cancer on that side of the family, it’s probably not BRCA. You can check for your own peace of mind, but you don’t sound high-risk.

  39. lisa2 says:

    Won’t lie I have been crying buckets.

    I was so floored when I saw it. and just could not believe it. She told her story is such a gentle way. Siting her children. I can understand how the kids must have been worried. I happy for her that Brad has been there and so supportive. It is just so crazy. She has been through so much and even in the few pics we have seen of them nobody knew. All these months. they must have reached this decision last year and scheduled the procedure. She said that she finished the last part 2 weeks ago. All the stupid rumors and such just looks so pathetic. I guess she and Brad and their family had more serious worries then what have been speculated upon.

    I’m praying for her and her family. I can’t imagine how difficult that decisions was for her and every woman that has and will face it. This is a fear that all woman share and that we can all bond over. Regardless of you feelings for someone.

    So proud of her. And yes she handled this in a classy manner. But I would never have expected less of her.

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      I agree with everything you’ve said. I am completely overwhelmed right now with the news and her Op-Ed. What a bright, brave woman. And how wonderful is Brad for being with her every step for this procedure (which I guess explains why he hasn’t been on any major public promotions for “World War Z,” just print).

      I suppose this explains the large ‘Jolie-Pitt’ family gathering over Christmas. She must have told everyone then that she was going to have the procedure. I still think she and Brad got married then, too. Time will tell. 🙂

      What an incredible woman she is. Live long, and prosper, Angie.

  40. AmyLynne says:

    God bless her. What a brave and kind thing to do. I appreciate honesty and courage in any form, and particularly when it is such an important message. My dear friend has the “breast cancer gene” and developed breast cancer at age 34. She had just had her 3rd child. We thought she beat it, butthree years later- a few months ago- after having back pain, an MRI showed the cancer was back and throughout the bones of her body. She has been given a year, as an estimate, although we hope for much more. It is a terrible disease and she is in so much pain. If there is any way to rid the world of this kind of suffering, any way to fight it, we all should do so.

    • Laura says:

      I’m so very sorry to hear about your friend. I pray that she will beat the doctor’s diagnosis and that her pain can be better minimized. Your friend is a brave person and lucky to have such loving support from you.

      I cannot fathom going through the fear and trauma of having cancer. I have had some scares regarding it but have been (so far) fortunate to escape it’s clutches.

      God bless those who are fighting this awful disease, those who love those who are fighting, and Angelina Jolie for sharing her actions to prevent a future battle. You are also so courageous and an inspiration to the rest of us.

    • Tessa says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your friend. I have lost a friend to cancer, colon cancer actually, and it was absolutely devestating. He fought hard, but he suffered terribly, and by the end we knew it was time for him to go. Cancer sucks.

    • AmyLynne says:

      Thank you very much Tessa and Laura. I knew that there was this kind of pain, but I think until you see cancer up close you don’t really realize how much it, in fact, sucks.

    • jaye says:

      AmyLynne, I’m so sorry to hear about your friends diagnosis. I can only imagine what she and her family and the people that love her are going through. My heart goes out to her and to you.

    • Jayna says:

      My heart goes out to your friend. I knew someone who it came back stage IV and was given a year, but she lived four more years. She was a divorced parent with a small child and she fought hard to live as long as she could for him. It was heartbreaking, but her doctors fought for her. It had spread to her brain and they would do procedures like the gamma knife and the newer ones to help her brain tumors and so she was able to go on with a cane and very ill, but be a mother to her little one. She died when he was six years old, but at least she lived long enough to give him memories of her.

    • AmyLynne says:

      Jayne, I am so hoping that is what happens to my friend. Our sons(9) are and have always been best friends and she asked me to make sure they have their graduation open houses together, like we had always planned. I said that she could plan it herself so I have this dream/hope that she will get this many years. Thanks for the words of support. I needed it today.

      • Buckwild says:

        This last comment got me crying. I hope the best for your friend, and she must be drawing strength from the fact that she has support from an incredible friend like you.

    • orion70 says:

      So sorry to hear about your friend. Ugh, but cancer blows.

  41. Frannny says:

    I believe a hysterectomy takes the uterus. She would need an oopherectamy for her ovaries 🙁

    • lisa2 says:

      I think that is what she is going to do. But look at it.. she has 6 beautiful children and I think that blessing more them makes up for anything else. Beside if they want more children they will adopt.

      I so glad that they already do have a great family.

    • Dinah says:

      You are correct. And if I were her, I’d get on that toute suite. Ovarian CA is not easily detectable until it’s late stage. 50% risk is super high. Truly frightening.

      My sis was diagnosed with breast CA in ’11, and had a mastectomy. While she was quoted a 95% cure rate with her type, she opted for a prophylactic mastectomy on her remaining breast. I supported her decision, and would do the same.

      Best of luck to Ms. Joli. It was a courageous decision. But get on that oophorectomy, lady!!!!!!

  42. Miel says:

    What a hard decision it must have been. I wonder if it means her biological daughters are also at risk at some point in the future.

    • The Wizz says:

      I’m no doc but I would have thought so.

    • lem says:

      i think does mean they have the risk of having the same gene. But they are all very young and it shouldn’t be something that they have to worry about for a few decades. Hopefully by the time it’s even a possible issue for them, the medical community has “cured” cancer.

    • Mac says:

      After getting a 5th or 6th medical opinion and receiving the same diagnosis / prognosis, the decision was probably made for her.

      Christina Applegate and Cheryl Crow also suffer from the same inherited gene disorder.

    • Dinah says:

      Depends on whether or not they inherited the gene. Testing would determine that.

      • Anon says:

        I believe Angelina and Brad will have all their children get genetic testing, so they can be proactive in their healthcare. I admire both Brad and Angie for their compassion for other human beings, for always being progressive in their lives…learning from their mistakes.
        Angelina doesn’t run to ‘People’ rag like some celebs, she writes op-eds herself to make a point (has no publicist). Much health and happiness to Angelina and her family.

  43. JL says:

    That is just amazing.
    One of the most celebrated beauties of the world takes such measures for her health and her family.

    Unfortunately there will be much chatter over her reconstruction and she will have to live with that scrutiny the rest of her life. She has fake boobs, how do they look, those aren’t real. You know it’s coming.

    I hope she looks at her children and grandchildren (one day) and just smiles and tells the detractors – I’m still here bithces.

    I wasn’t a big fan until this morning.

    • lem says:

      i would not be at all surprised if she doesn’t have reconstructive surgery. from her statement, she seemed rather unattached to her breasts, so i could see her not having implants. no judgement either way, just her attitude makes me think it’s not particularly important to her.

      • JL says:

        It seems she will reconstruct, and I support that too. If she were to chose not to reconstruct then good for her.

        On another note I hope young girls read this and get some concept of what real women and real beauty are…

        Two weeks later I had the major surgery, where the breast tissue is removed and temporary fillers are put in place. The operation can take eight hours. You wake up with drain tubes and expanders in your breasts. It does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film. But days after surgery you can be back to a normal life.

        She said…..
        Two weeks later I had the major surgery, where the breast tissue is removed and temporary fillers are put in place. The operation can take eight hours. You wake up with drain tubes and expanders in your breasts. It does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film. But days after surgery you can be back to a normal life.

        Nine weeks later, the final surgery is completed with the reconstruction of the breasts with an implant. There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful

      • The Wizz says:

        I took that she already had recontructed.

      • Jess says:

        She details the procedures she had in the op-ed, which include implants.

        It’s a much more straightforward procedure if you’re happy to just have the breast tissue and excess skin removed and be sewn back up. I hope that doesn’t come off as a judgement, I only mention it because I’ve seen a lot of comments from people about how they didn’t realize it was such a long drawn-out procedure, so just wanted to clarify the surgery aspects (as opposed to the counseling, which is usually extensive) aren’t always such a long process.

      • jaye says:

        I think she said in the article that she did have the reconstruction.

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:

        @ Lem …

        You should probably read Angie’s Op-Ed again. She explains the procedure, and her reconstructive surgery, quite clearly.

      • lem says:

        good lord. yes i missed that detail. i read an excerpt from another site that didn’t include the reconstruction information.

  44. Christina says:

    I’ll be honest: when I saw the headlines my first thought was ‘Great. Another celeb sharing her crazy ideas about health with us, no matter how dangerous they might be”. But now that I’ve read the story behind it, I’ve nothing but respect for Angie and for what she’s done. It’s very brave for a woman who’s career depends in large part on her sexual attractiveness to go public with this. Respect.

  45. Sue says:

    Very moving article, she is very brave to make this decision.

  46. Maria says:

    I have so much respect for her not only as an actress but as a humanitarian, human, and mother.

    She really DOES have the sort of clout to raise awareness for things like this and that she would divulge such private details, inevitably making her a mark for “photographers” and critics, she is using her private life for something much bigger.

    Any person who would willingly give up such intimate part of themselves for the opportunity of a longer lifespan to mother their children gets my respect (she’s always had it though).

  47. Loira says:

    Damn cancer. I hate it so so so. Much.

  48. lisa2 says:

    on a silly silly note.. I’m glad she didn’t go to People Magazine..

    • Toot says:

      Me too. People sucks.

    • Jane says:

      Yeah, but you know that are going to toss whatever they had for their cover for this week and go with this and I know they are on the phone to her manager.

      The tabloid scramble is going to be epic and anything they print is a bunch of hooey as this shows without a doubt that this couple knows how to keep their “sh-t” tight.

  49. smee says:

    Holy shiz. Makes me look at her in a totally different light. Bold & Brave.

    Of course, lucky for her she has the $ for this type of medical care. Not everyone does. I wonder if insurance companies would consider this “medically necessary” or “elective”? Top notch reconstructive surgery would make this a lot easier to handle.

    • Kate says:

      Yeah, I would guess this surgery is not an option for most people because insurance wouldn’t cover it, and out-of-pocket isn’t doable, especially given that there’s multiple procedures involved. Hopefully her going public with this will change that– preventative care is ALWAYS cheaper than treatment, and with the gene testing, if you know you can head off something at the pass, why not do it? Save lives, save money.

      Good for you, Angelina.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        Some insurance does cover prophylactic mastectomy.

      • jaye says:

        I worked for an insurance company and seeing the hoops that patients had to go through to justify certain treatments disgusted me. Submitting medical records only to have the procedures denied then appealing the denial. I found it disgusting. It really is about these companies bottom line, not about the welfare of their members.

  50. drea says:

    That she is making these sacrifices for her children, so that they won’t lose her the way she lost her mother––this is one of the truest definitions of love.

  51. Vee says:

    I’m in awe. What an incredible contribution she is making to humanity.

  52. JL says:

    On another note I hope young girls read this and get some concept of what real women and real beauty are…

    Too many young women think looks, boobs, butts etc define a woman.

    What a great example.

    • Suze says:

      I agree! My perception might be skewed by reading too much celebrity news and the comments on celebrity sites, but it seems that some women think that the best way to be a strong, confident, sexy woman is too show off cleavage and booty and strut around in tight clothes.

      Anything else is mumsy or matronly or whatever the word of the day is.

      I think Jolie is showing what strong and sexy are right here.

    • Jayna says:

      In this world of reality TV, all young teenagers see are teenagers in their late teens and girls in their early 20s wanting their 15 minutes of fame acting badly and getting boob jobs, fake tans weekly, lip injections, hair extensions they won’t go without form a very early age on, bleached hair, fake eyelashes, fake everything, obssession with labels (purses, clothes, shoes) as a way to say you are something, and making a fool of yourself to have some quick money on TV. It’s sad.

  53. Talie says:

    I have two friends who lost their mothers and grandmothers to breast cancer and are debating doing the same thing. It’s a tough decision.

  54. ahoyhoy says:

    I wish someone would do a timeline of Angie’s public appearances this year, compared to what she was ACTUALLY going through at that moment. She made a few speeches and whatnot. I wonder how much she worked between the removal surgery & reconstruction surgery, and WE NEVER KNEW.

    • Guesto says:

      A piece here on her trip to the Congo with William Hague, at the height of her surgery.

      …There was a bit of uncertainty before hand over whether Jolie was going to make it, which I put down to the general unreliability of actresses. In fact, it turns out that she had just completed major surgery and was still undergoing treatment.

      Yet, she flew from America to London, then on to Nairobi and joined us on an RAF flight to Rwanda and DR Congo. I remember noting how sleek and fresh she looked throughout her travels.

      The Channel 4 crew with us had all had hostage training for the trip. One of the crew had a bad back and we worried about the state of the roads in worsening his condition. Another member of the party suffered car sickness.

      The one person who never uttered a single complaint was Angelina Jolie, although she must have been bruised and in considerable pain.


      • ahoyhoy says:

        Thank you for this! Wow!

      • Guesto says:

        A timeline of sorts from the Daily Mail (my edits):

        February 2nd – AJ begins 3 mths of treatments prior to undergoing preventative double mastectomy.

        February 16th – undergoes major surgery – 8hr op to remove breast tissue before temporary fillers are put in place

        March 26th – in Congo with William Hague following initial operation

        April 4th – attends Women in the World Summit in New York

        April 11th – with William Hague at G8 Summit in London

        April 20th – final operation, breasts are reconstructed with implants

        April 27th – completes medical process.

      • bluhare says:

        I’m floored. I always admired her humanitarian work, but this? Wow.

        Brad Pitt is one lucky man.

      • Mairead says:

        Wow. I have serious respect for this. I mean I know it’s physically possible but I also know the pressure that she was under. Until you’ve done it, it’s difficult to understand what impact it has on you. Chances are she was running on pure adrenaline at that stage, but by Christ it’s not easy.

        Its not in the same category, but I underwent surgery and cancer treatment last year and was back after 3 weeks after both sets of treatment which were 9 weeks apart – to the surprise and alarm of my doctors (and some colleagues). But I still had a major public project with a large number of elements which had to get done at the same time in about as many weeks. Never a-fu€&ing-again! (Famous last words).

    • Talie says:

      She’s been pretty low-key for at least a year, other than shooting Maleficient and doing her usual UN work. It’s probably been in the works for at least that long.

  55. TuesdaysChild says:

    What a remarkable woman.This story, her story, resonates with so many women and I pray it has the impact that she hopes it does. God bless you Angelina. And Brad, for sticking by your woman, through thick and thin.

  56. Nicolette says:

    Stunning. I have no words, only that I wish her the best.

  57. truthful says:

    I commend her for making this choice, I would do the same thing.

  58. dorothy says:

    What an inspiration.

  59. Emma says:

    She is an amazing woman. Such a beautiful role model. I will never understand the amount of crazy levels of hard she gets when she does so much good in the world. I love that she touches on the fact that breasts do not define her femininity. Not a girl’s girl my ass, Chelsea.

  60. anneesezz says:

    I had the same procedure when my daughter was 3 years old after being diagnosed with stage 1 BC, a year after losing my mother to the disease. It was a huge weight off my shoulders. A year later I had a hysterectomy, ovaries and cervix removed bc ovarian cancer also runs in my family. It was the right thing to do for my daughter but I have zero sex drive and I look like frankenstein with no clothes on because of all the scars (I had reconstruction not implants) and don’t feel very sexy but that’s the price we pay. I was so scared at the thought of my daughter growing up without a mom I never gave it a second thought after making the decision. I’m sure she never gave it a second thought either.

    • Kate says:

      Your daughter is a lucky kid to have a mom like you.

    • s says:

      brave you. your daughter is lucky to have such a great mum.

    • jaye says:

      You’re an awesome and brave lady. Your daughter is lucky to have you and thankfully she’ll have you for a very long time.

    • mary jane says:

      I agree with Kate. Thanks for sharing. Your perspective was clearly the same as Angelina’s…. control what you can.

    • XiuFetish says:

      anneesezz, I had the same procedures as you when my daughter was 6.

      For mothers with our level of risk, our decision was the only one we could make.

      When people suggest to me that a prophylactic double mastectomy and a hysterectomy were an “overreaction”, I respond by asking them whether they would get on a plane with an 87% chance of crashing…

      P.S. I am on low-level hormones and my sex drive is back to normal. Is this an option for you?

    • Jayna says:

      You have been through a lot. You are braver than most but being a mom makes those decisions easier. Being through what you’ve been through, it must make it hard to listen to friends bitch about the most miniscule of things. But I have much admiration for you (and XiuFetish) going through so much but chosing to be proactive.

      Please don’t give up on your sex drive. My friend had a full hysterectomy and there are things to bring your sex drive back, which is more important to feeling like a woman than boobs. The loss of her sex drive made her feel like life was over and old and she couldn’t take heavy hormone therapy, but they worked with her on what she could take and she got it back and made a world of difference in her life and her relationship with her husband and their closeness.

    • orion70 says:

      You should check out the getting your mojo back thread over on

      • Lucrezia says:

        I second this opinion.

        Losing your mojo isn’t something you simply have to put up with, there are options.

        Actually, I’m glad you bought it up. Even the lucky people with health-insurance usually get shafted when it comes to post-op support. The medical profession kind of goes: “you’re not dying any more, so you’re fine – bye!”

        Thank god for support groups who do a great job helping people with the physical/psychological consequences that the docs dismiss.

  61. Adrien says:

    That was brave. I wish her the best.

  62. Celeste says:

    I’ve never been a big fan of Angelina but I really do respect her for sharing her story. She shows a lot of courage and strength to ensure that she’ll be around much longer for her children. I admire her selflessness by being proactive.

  63. LittleDeadGirl says:

    My girl crush of I don’t know how many years remains strong and confirmed. Love her and glad she found someone who stood by her through such a difficult time. Makes me love Brad Pitt more. I don’t really care about most celebrity couples but I honestly would be sad if they ever broke up.

  64. Patrice says:

    How beautifully put. Made me tear up first thing it the morning too! Thoughts are with her and her family and of course anyone else facing such a difficult decision or going through the process. You’re not alone ladies 🙂

  65. :-) says:

    The love she has for her children is sweet and makes me teary.

  66. Sam says:

    I applaud her for writing the piece. I like how she frames it as not “this is what I did, you should do it too,” but as advocating that women should have the choice and especially the ability to know. Because of patenting, the BRCA gene test is unavailable to most women, so they won’t even have the information to make this decision. I’m glad that she is pushing for greater testing availability and the right to decide what one wants to do.

  67. paranormalgirl says:

    Smart woman, smart decision. 87% is tremendous and thanks to prophylactic mastectomy, she’s below 5% now. And that OpEd piece was beautifully written.

  68. Deirdre says:

    Wow, I am speechless. What an incredible woman.

  69. Dagmar says:

    I love her she has come such a long way. She worked for the UN during this period too. Through both her pregnancies she went to war torn countries wear bullet proof vests. Long live Jolie!

  70. Rumorhasit says:

    There is nothing more impactful than watching a healthy, self sufficient, proactive middle aged woman who loved to travel, become a hollow shell of existence over a 3 year period, as this hideous disease robs you of your sufficiency, well being, money, and dignity.
    If that doesn’t motivate you to make some changes in how you live your life, and the decisions you make, you are a lost cause.
    For women with family histories and genetic mutations, we KNOW what lies ahead. And chose not to go that route. Because we have watched the women in our families go this way before us. And it’s not pretty.
    For some of us, the precious knowledge that our feminine core, our outward symbol of femininity, motherhood, and what it means to be a woman-, are nothing more than cesspools, breeding grounds for cancer, and we are better off without them.

  71. Nancy says:

    This has really changed my opinion of her she is a very brave woman for doing this.

  72. Jayna says:

    This is so sad. I teared up, too. She downplays it, but the decison to remove your breasts must be a devastating one. Angeliina did have such beautiful breasts. And like the other actress, Christina Applegate said, even though you get implants after the double mascectomy, it’s not the same nor do you look the same, and you do go through a period of mourning.

    Angelina is a very tough woman, and she has the love of Brad and her children and being a mommy to always carry her through. Plus, Angelina almost has that personality of just getting on with it, because she is so productive in the world as far as a humanitarian, which also gives her another higher purpose.

    I wonder, is she going to have her ovaries removed. Would that send her into early menopause or only if she has the uterus removed too? I hope she doesn’t have to go into early menopause. My mother had a hysterectomy and went into early menopause in her 30s and it was hard on her.

    In this day and age of celebrities having no privacy, their info being sold to tabloids, I am stunned she was able to go through with this and no one find out. I am glad for her that she didn’t have to deal with the sensationalism of this and have that time for her and her family.

    It just goes to show you everyone always commenting on tabloid stories of an insider knowing the state of her marriage, blah, blah, from so-called very close insiders didn’t even know this from those very same close insiders who would know the state of her marriage. LOL All they ever do is make up stories to post to have an Angeliina/Brad/Jen story and people just waste their time commenting on them like they are truth.

    Godspeed, Angie. You are an inspiration on living life with dignity and purpose and having your priorities straight in that celebrity world that is full of entitled narcissists.

    • Miss M says:

      @Jayna: if she removes the ovaries, she will enter early menopause because the ovaries are the ones responsible for producing the hormones. If she only has the uterus removed, she will not enter menopause right away, still produce hormones, but not have periods (She will be infertile). This is my understanding. Please, someone correct me if I am wrong.

      • Jayna says:

        Now, that I think about it, you’re right. They once suggested a partial hysterectomy to me because I had uterine fibroids and I freaked out. It was so big they couldn’t even find my uterus on physical examination. It was pushed back so far. I found another doctor that performed a myonectomy and removed a massive fibroid and was able to get pregnant. I now remember the first doctor told me as long as I had my ovaries I wouldn’t go into early menopause. I had forgotten that part. All I remember is being so furious that a doctor just sat there and told me I would never had children, could not get pregnant with where the uterus was and when I was ready from symptoms he would operate and remove my uterus. Who would tell a 26-year-old to get a partial hysterectomy and when there was a chance not to have to. Thank God, I went for a second opinon and it worked. It was possible to remove it. There was a chance during the operation that he would have to remove my uterus and still I wouldn’t give the doctor the permission to do that in the same operation. I couldn’t face waking up and finding that out. But luck was on my side.

      • Janet says:

        @Jayna: I was in your position with massive fibroids that cause bleeding during my periods that was so heavy my hemoglobin count dropped down to 45% of normal. I felt like I was being drained by a vampire. But my son was already 11 years old and I wasn’t planning on having another child at 37. So I opted for the hysterectomy but didn’t have to have an oophorectomy because my ovaries were in good shape. That hysterectomy turned my life around. Three months prior to the operation I was so anemic that the doctor was afraid to operate at that point because I could have gone into shock and died from the anesthesia. So he spent the next three months building my blood count back up (I had to have iron shots, iron pills and eat liver three days a week — yuck!), but after he operated I was like a new woman. I felt 1000% better. I hope you won’t have to have the operation later on because fibroids do have a tendency to grow back, but if you do, go for it. You won’t regret it.

    • The Original Tiffany says:

      When you have a very early total hysterectomy, they put you on hormone replacement therapy. You stay pre-menopausal that way and the increase in estrogen won’t affect her in terms of breast cancer chances increasing.
      I had to have a total hysterectomy at 37 and have been on it ever since.

      • orion70 says:

        That’s one of the things that at least for me, can make the decision to have a hysterectomy harder. After ER+ breast cancer and having to take Tamoxifen for several years, my risk of uterine cancer is higher. But if I decide to have a hysterectomy, I can’t take hormone replacement therapy due to my breast cancer having been hormone receptor positive.

  73. Joney Says says:

    Such a tough & emotional decision to make & so brave to go public with it. Just another reason to love & admire this incredible Lady. I’m glad she’s sharing her story. Angie is an inspiration! She is empowering women how important that preventive and early detection is the best weapon to fight cancer!Wishing her all the best. Stay strong!!!

  74. Janet says:

    “Pitt told the Standard: “Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie’s choice, as well as so many others like her, absolutely heroic. I thank our medical team for their care and focus.

    “All I want for is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family.”


  75. Diva says:

    People want to always be negative about this women but I really think she is a beautiful and intelligent person. Cancer is such a scary thing. Good luck to her and her family.

  76. Miss M says:

    I am not her fan, but I have to say as a geneticist, I am glad she is sharing her experience. The double mastectomy still cause some controversy among doctors, but I personally think that in AJ’s case, who was very likely to develop breast cancer that it was a wise decision. What an example of strength.

    Also, it’s refreshing and inspiring to know there are men like BP who support their partners through this process.

    • tmbg says:

      Since you’re a geneticist, can you tell us what happens with the ovaries? If she had her breasts removed, does that lower the risk of ovarian cancer or does that stay the same?

      I have read about women getting preventive hysterectomies too.

      • The Original Mia says:

        My doctors told me I have 0% chance of having breast cancer since I had a total removal. My chance of getting ovarian cancer is still 50% until I have my ovaries removed.

      • Miss M says:

        @tmbg: Sorry for the late reply, I was performing experiments. She only reduced (I said REDUCED- I don’t mean to yell at you, I am just trying to emphasize the word) her chances of developing breast cancer. Although these cancers are linked, she would have to remove her ovaries to Reduce the chances of developing ovarian cancer. There are many factors involving cancer. I said there is a controversy about a double mastectomy because there is a reduction, which means the patient can still develop breast cancer, etc. It’s irresponsible for a doctor to say you will not have it, genetics/ science is not black or white.

    • YuYa says:

      It’s a pretty sad statement about men that we have to “congratulate” them for standing by their partners in times of illness. It should just be.

      • Miss M says:

        It can be a very drastic decision and, in reality, most men if they support they probably went on to argue about it. In their case, it seems he was just there for her, not questioning. It was her decision as he said. Yes, I do applaud him for that.

      • Emily says:


        Any man who would put his partner’s boobs above her life is so utterly vile there are no words for it. My husband’s been there for me throughout years of disability, and I’ve known plenty of other men to care for their wives under similar circumstances. I don’t understand when people say most men wouldn’t do it, or most men would argue about it — where are they getting these men? Do they come out of a factory in LA or something?

  77. lovegossip says:

    Sigh. I feel the weight of liking her shifting. 😉 Never “hated” her, but honestly didn’t “like” her before. This is changing. What a beautifully written piece, and how brave. 🙂

  78. MAP says:

    I applaud her decision to go public about this choice. It is really brave to do so, about something that is so private.

  79. Luna says:

    Poor Angie 🙁

  80. tmbg says:

    I’m glad to read that a lot of people here support her. I was reading the story on one of the news sites and they were bashing her left and right.

    I think she’s amazing, and by speaking out, she’s possibly educating women on something they weren’t even aware of.

    Good for her. She’s a brave woman.

    • Brittney says:

      I honestly just feel sorry for the people who manage to twist even *this* into a reason to perpetuate their superficial grudge. She puts good energy into the world, and it’s their choice to sour it and refuse to benefit (or learn) from it.

      What really confuses me is the constant claim that everything she does is for attention. Even if this WERE the case, so what? Even if she has personal motives for donating countless hours and dollars to saving the lives of refugees, she’s still saving those lives, right? Even if she writes a letter like this for publicity (ignoring the fact that she endured such an emotionally and physically taxing few months), she’s still increasing awareness of a very fatal disease, right? That’s more than you can say for about 99% of the people who have as much (or more) fame and/or money as she does.

      If anyone chooses to look only at the tabloid spin on her life’s achievements and ignore the rest, then he or she must live a very sad, self-centered, judgmental life. Good thing Angie’s working overtime to make up for the apathy and inactivity of those kinds of humans (and then some).

  81. Isabella says:

    her experience will definitely help a lot of women. I admire her boldness and confidence.

  82. QueenFreddie says:

    She’s very brave. I respect how honest is here. I don’t believe she is doing it for good press either, I think she truly wants to help others.

  83. mel says:

    Although I applaud her decision to share something so private with the public…I guess I don’t find it so AMAZING or admirable like I admire single mothers or every day people without economic advantages who have to deal with these issues in a much more stressful matter…i.e…they do not have the financial resources to have testing done or are in the middle of the fight with little support.

    • Brittney says:

      And THOSE are the very women for whom she wrote this letter; she, like you and I, is disgusted by the fact that preventative and life-saving health care is limited to the relatively privileged, and hopefully by exposing her own decision, she will kick off a much-needed conversation about the limitations of privatized health care.

    • Suze says:

      The fact that others have even more difficult circumstances does not make me admire Jolie less.

      • Runs with Scissors says:

        thank you Suze, that is ridiculous logic!

      • BeesKnees says:

        Agreed. Let’s not bash or blame her because of the state of our healthcare system and the ridiculousness of insurance companies. Plus, Angelina is the kind of celebrity who would most likely actually do something to help women in that kind of situation!

      • mel says:

        My logic is not ridiculous…I can choose to admire whom I please. I certainly respect her for what she did and admire the way she chose to go about this private matter but I work with the very poor and underprivileged and I just have a different opinion. No need to get nasty.

      • Sal says:

        Mel, Angelina too, works with the poor and underpriviledged. She has done so much for the poor and underpriviledged, that those who also do admire her. Which is why if you do, you would admire her.

  84. Brittney says:

    I’ve been a HUGE fan since before she adopted Maddox and have been inspired by every step of her character transformation… and now this. She and Brad really know how to maximize their celebrity for the benefit of the rest of the world; first refugees and victims of natural disasters, now women the world over. This is such an unfortunately common disease, and like Katie Couric publicizing colonoscopies, I have no doubt that this letter will go on to save lives.

    It is so wonderful to hear that the planet has a much better chance now of keeping this incredible woman on it for much longer. She is such an inspiration.

  85. val says:

    I saw this at midnight trough my newsfeed and I could not believe it. Here I am stressing over finals and complaining and yet this woman publicly exposed herself through this media scrutiny of this ordeal that she is going through. I have always been a fan of Angie, I have always admired her and well now my admiration has not boundaries for her. It’s one thing to go through this in private with a few family and close friends knowing; but, to go through this in the public’s eyes with the media backlash is well I have no words. I hope other women will be inspired and be proactive about their healths. I have always been; but Angie has made me THAT more proactive. Bless her!

  86. Loira says:

    FFers are visiting. Well, I for instance believe there is a lot of positive to be taken from her open letter. Her actions speak better than her words. She has been helping in different ways. Other just throw money and are called philantropists, she also does and goes beyond. Why not in this case?
    My family can relate, not in the same type of cancer, but in the decision making involved. Of course, some people will always find anything negative to find if they want to. If that makes you happy.

    • Jayna says:

      Absolutely. Negative people amaze me. Someone always has it worse. That’s the nature of life. But to use that to take away from what she is experiencing is so juvenile. She will use this in other ways to start a foundation helping other women and use this as a platform to educate women to be proactive. It’s just who she is.

      What I have always admired about Angie is she doesn’t just throw money at things. She is out in the field and becomes very knowledgeable. I was blown away when she would read huge studies or UN texts on different programs and needs she was helping to better understand what is needed and then gets out there. She wants to educate herself. Few stars, save a few like George Clooney, actually get out there in the field and are involved on a grassroots level effecting change. You don’t have to even like everything about Angie to give her credit for being an amazing humanitarian.

  87. Jen says:

    So much respect for this woman. She is beautiful and strong, inside and out.

  88. Mimi says:

    I’ve done more than my fair share of AJ bashing… Not this time. Extremely brave and wise decision she has made here. I was born with a heart defect and was worried that my son might inherit the same condition. We take him to a cardiologist once a year for a cardiac sonogram. Our insurance doesn’t pay for it, of course but it gives me a huge sense of relief to know my son is okay. All Angelina wanted was peace of mind. Criticism, in this case is not warranted.

  89. MAC says:

    I am glad she wrote about it and is rich enough to prolong her life. As others have said the cost of testing alone ………

  90. kelly says:

    what a brave move for a woman with millions of dollars in the bank to pay for the surgery, lengthy recovery, and possible reconstructive surgery later on. a true hero

  91. Isa says:

    Normally I avoid articles about her despite being a fan, bc it’s mostly tabloid lies and awful comments. I’m so glad I clicked on this one. I’m super emotional right now. What a brave woman! I’m so glad her chances of having a long life has increased.

  92. DGO says:

    Meh. Never mind.

    • jaye says:

      Why do you think it was weird?

      • DGO says:

        This runs in our family. Every woman I know who has this in their family gets tested and makes the decision about surgery. In our family, the women with this gene get the radical hysterectomies and the mastectomies. They still die from cancer though. To me, it’s a non-story. i don’t see how it will raise awareness since those of us with the issue already know about it and how to handle it. I also think it gives false hope. I feel for Christina Applegate who went through actual cancer and then had the surgeries. She’s very brave.

  93. Reece says:

    No words. Just stunned.
    I’m just glad she and her family are doing well.

  94. Ginger says:

    This eloquent piece that she wrote made me cry as well. I have witnessed the devastation of ovarian cancer and it is awful. I’m glad she has put herself out there as an example. She has really grown into an amazing woman. This reminded me that I need to make my mammogram appointment. Thank you Angelina!

  95. Rhea says:

    @Lama :

    Yes, both of them doing a PR move to promote and encourage women to get tested and to prolong their lives with preventative surgery.

    Unfortunately, Applegate doesn’t have the same level of fame as Jolie in international public—- hence she’s not getting international coverage like Jolie. So I don’t see why you feel the need to bash Jolie just because she got more coverage in international than Applegate.

    You’re only making negative out of the brave thing that both of them did. Smh.

  96. Mar says:

    People don’t like her because they say she is a home wrecker. There are plenty of women out there who fall for other people’s men. The reason people rag on her is because she hit with the biggest movie star on the planet who was married to the ” golden girl”who, in turn did the same thing to another woman with a much longer relationship.
    Angie is pretty damn selfless in her life. She did this for her children- other selfish women don’t even want to get pregnant because all they have going for them is their tight tummies.
    She travels around the works providing what comfort she can to displaced people- she pays for children’s education , she gives her time.

    Other women go to Cabo and tan.

    People need start judging people on their actions- not a tv show role

    • Jayna says:

      I don’t get it either this far along. Brad and Jen would be long over by now Angie or no Angie. I guess it’s because Jen is famous, too, and her marriage to Brad was always high-profile. Because no one ever carried on about Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson and it was a scandal back when it happened. She cheated on her husband, was madly in love with Liam, and they worked out. Her husband, a Broadway director/film director, did lash out at first over being hurt, but never said another thing. She called Liam her soulmate. People always talk about their beautiful marriage and don’t follow up with: She was a cheater. Liam was a homewrecker. The same with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson and Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. I guess it’s because the spouses weren’t famous and never talked to the press ad nauseum and so people didn’t care.

      I felt for Jen. I like her. But that was long ago and she moved on. Jen has her rabid fanbase which like to carry on this wronged wife angle into oblivion, when Jen has clearly moved on with another woman’s man herself. It’s odd to me all these years later how people are so invested in people they don’t know. Brad and Angie have a family and have been together a long time. Jen never had kids, is basically the same person she was (very kind, sweet, great friend, simple wants (Cabo, suntanning, marguiritas) and found a guy she seems to be madly in love with. I remember long before Angie came on the scene reading an interview of her in Vanity Fair and her quote about Brad and him not being her soulmate threw me, that there’s more than one. I could tell then there were clearly problems in the marriage long before Angie. Anyone who thinks they would still be together is delusional.

      • Becky1 says:

        I agree Jayna. It’s beyond ridiculous that anyone is still talking about the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie/Jennifer Aniston love triangle. I’m tired of the comparisons between AJ and JA. They are two different women and neither of them should be vilified.

        I applaud AJ for her honesty in this matter and wish her the best.

    • orion70 says:

      While I really don’t know why anyone is bringing Aniston into this, I seem to remember that she has devoted time and money to cancer charities, including breast cancer causes, if I remember correctly.

  97. binturong says:

    Let’s stop for a minute and think about the issues around healthcare in the US that AJ’s op-ed piece brings up:
    She’s completely minimizing the real issues here.

    • Suze says:

      I don’t believe Jolie is minimizing health care issues in her piece. In fact, I think her piece in the Times is bringing a lot of thoughtful discussion on the limitations of our health care system to many parts of the internet.

      Unfortunately, that hate-filled screed at the link is not one of them.

      • binturong says:

        I certainly don’t see it as a “hate-filled screed”–that’s a little over the top. It’s just that Jolie is recommending a procedure that MOST women in the US will never be able to afford. People can’t even get basic preventative care–and this is not Central Africa, you know.

        And speaking of prevention…all of a sudden every disease is genetically-based, it seems. And that seems to let all sorts of environmental poisoners off the hook.

        None of the above is meant to detract from the courage of women who’ve had to deal with cancer. I just think we need to examine not only the health care cost issue but also the genetics vs. environment issue.

  98. The Original Mia says:

    I made the same decision as Angelina 6 years ago. At first, I didn’t want to know if I had the gene. I already knew I had a greater than 50% chance of having breast cancer with my family history. But I knew I wanted to have children and I could see the fear on my mother’s face every time I went to have a mammogram. I couldn’t be selfish or scared about the truth, so I had the test. I was lucky. Since we already knew which BRCA my mother had, I was able to test for that one. Because I knew, the cost of the test was affordable. I didn’t use my insurance because this was pre-Obamacare. There was the fear that a positive test would increase my rates or boot me off my plan. I paid $375. They took my blood. 10 days later I found out I was positive for BRCA 1. I was devastated. Even though, I’d known I had a 50/50 chance. Knowing that now, I had a 88% chance of having breast cancer & 50% chance of ovarian was too much. I dreaded telling my mom because she felt guilty for giving it to me. But I did, and we got through it.

    I admire Angelina so much because it’s not an easy decision to make. You’re wracked with uncertainty about your sexuality and your appeal to others. You worry whether you overreacted. You live with the quirks and uncomfortable feeling when you’re trying to sleep. There’s a lot of shifting of breast tissue. There’s numbness and itching that can never be scratched because your skin doesn’t feel anything. I’ve nicked my boob with a razor and didn’t notice the cut until I saw blood on my bra. This is our new normal, but I’d rather live like this than with the constant fear and worry that I’ll develop breast cancer. I’ll probably have my ovaries removed next year. There are plenty of children to be adopted. At least, they will have a mom who’ll be here.

    I thank her for sharing her story.

    • The Original G says:

      Hi Mia

      And I thank YOU for sharing yours. All the best.

    • Hipocricy says:

      Thanks Mia.

      All the blessings to you !

    • I Choose Me says:

      Thanks for sharing Mia. You made a choice that was right for you, difficult as it was, based on the information you had. I applaud you just as much as I do Angelina.

      Light and love!

      • The Original Mia says:

        Thank you. I’ve had to step back because some of these posts have pissed me off.

    • Moore says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I absolutely love that last line. Your future children are blessed to have you.

    • Sachi says:

      Mia, thank you for sharing your story. I have been crying all day, it seems, first with Angie’s story and now yours.

      My Mum must go for an ultrasound and screening tomorrow because her mammogram showed something suspicious that needed further examination. I am hoping and praying it’s nothing and all will be well, but I’m still a nervous wreck.

      I’ve had several family members who died from cancer and reading others’ stories of struggles, successes, strength, resilience, and coping with the disease always brings back both painful and great memories.

      I wish you and your family all the best. You are so brave and remarkable.

    • Aqua says:

      Your post is the one that brought a tear to my eyes because my mom died of ovarian cancer at 63 ,my aunt{my mothers sister) had breast cancer.She was afraid to go to the doctor when she noticed that something was wrong, and when she found out she had cancer it was to late nothing could be done for her.Her daughter died of breast cancer at an early age{38}leaving two young boys behind.My daughter told me a few months ago that her good friends mother has ovarian cancer and asked me when was my last check up.She’s in her early to mid 50’s .I’ll admit I feel like I have lived my life in fear as well as my family because of the inevitable chance that I may get cancer.I feel like I’m living with a ticking time bomb but knowledge is power and Thanks to this article and your comment I’ll have some more informed questions to ask the nest time i see my doctor.Which is sooner rather than later.

  99. maxine says:

    Bravo – that’s all I have to say. . .

  100. mordor says:

    I understand that that’s what she said in the article, but that it not correct. Having the mutation does not mean that you will get breast cancer, it just means your risks are higher. IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY GET CANCER. Look, it’s her body and she gets to do whatever the fuck she wants to with it, but this is mutilating your body out of fear and by holding herself up as an example, she’s encouraging other women to mutilate themselves when the science just isn’t there to support it.

    About 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, caused by abnormal genes passed from parent to child.
    Most inherited cases of breast cancer are associated with two abnormal genes: BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene one) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene two).

    Abnormal BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes may account for up to 10% of all breast cancers, or 1 out of every 10 cases. Having an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene doesn’t mean you will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
    most people who develop breast cancer did not inherit an abnormal breast cancer gene and have no family history of the disease.
    The average woman in the United States has about a 1 in 8, or a 12-13%, risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. Women who have an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene (or both) can have up to an 80% risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes.

    • videli says:

      Somebody above posted it: would you get in car that has 87% risk of crashing? It depends of what kind of gambling person you are.

      • jc126 says:

        Ducky and Loira – even if one is NOT a mom. one’s choices affect loved ones and family members. Non-moms have people who love and care about them unconditionally, including perhaps elderly parents or others who are very dependent on them. Even if not. most people have others who love them and want them around and living.

      • orion70 says:

        @jc126, absolutely. I have been through breast cancer treatment, I have no children (and the treatment itself can take away many peoples options in that area). I carry around a lot of weird guilt about how my own breast cancer affects the risk levels of the other women in my family, my sisters, my nieces.

    • anneesezz says:

      You obviously aren’t a mom

      • mordor says:

        I’m not, I understand that according to your line of thinking I don’t understand anything, and my life is not worth as much as the mother’s life… thanks for opinion

      • jc126 says:

        What a farce – as if people who aren’t parents have nothing to live for, don’t care about living, or don’t value life as much.

      • Ducky la Rue says:

        @mordor and @jc126 – I can’t speak for anneessezz, but when I read her comment “you obviously aren’t a mom” I took it NOT to mean that your life “is not worth as much as a mother’s life”, but that, when you’re not a mom, the choice and the consequence is yours and yours alone.

        I’m not a mom – if I had to decide on the treatment, I would be deciding fully for myself, and I might actually accept more risk. I have only myself to worry about and answer to. But if I had children, I presume that I’d do a lot to minimize that risk. It doesn’t seem an unreasonable assumption that your children would factor into your decision-making.

        I’m pretty sure that’s the gist of the comment, and it wasn’t meant as you took it.

      • Loira says:

        I am not a mother and I agree with Anne. If you are not a mother and still have the means to get a procedure and still decide to stick with your 13% chances of not getting cancer, the danger is for you, and the pain is for you spouse, parents etc… But if you are a mother, things are different. Parents have a responsibility beyond what others have.
        Angelina and many others out there have something in common with me. We lost our mothers to cancer. I lost her when I was 39, and still hurts like hell the loss and the memories of her suffering. And still I enjoyed having her for so long. I cannot imagine what growing without a mom would be.
        Do not take it against Annessez, she has it right.

    • The Original G says:

      The thing is that while BRCA genes may be reponsible for only 10% breast cancers, if you are are the 1 in 10, you have 100% breast cancer.

      • Mich says:

        Amen. The original comment was filled with problematic conclusions. Who cares if this gene mutation is only the cause of 10% of breast cancer? It misses the point that if you HAVE this mutation you go up to the 80% group.

    • Kloops says:

      Youre making several different points here. Absolutely the vast majority of breast cancers are not hereditary. And simply having a genetic mutation does not guarantee a breast cancer diagnosis. And having breast cancer does not mean that you will die. There are hundreds of variables that affect the ultimate outcome for any individual. It would appear, based solely on the limited information AJ has chosen to present, that she had generic counselling and her odds were assessed at 87%. Based on the information she has she chose this route. I would have made a similar decision. I have very little emotional attachment to my breasts but I am extremely attached to my life.

    • Suze says:

      Yes, what Kloops said.

      You mention a lot of statistics in your comment, but most aren’t relevant to Jolie’s situation. The important statistic is the 87% – her likelihood of developing breast cancer.

      That’s a percentage that applies to her as an individual. She made her decisions based on that.

      She isn’t encouraging women to “mutilate” themselves. She is discussing her treatment based on her test results.

      Everyone should do the same.

    • anneesezz says:

      If you were a parent you would understand her decision to do anything to make sure she is around to raise her children and not have them grow up with out their mother. That’s why I knew you weren’t a mom. Having gone through the same surgery when my daughter was three that’s all I thought about and what made my decision to get the surgery so easy. Although I had stage 1 BC, it wasn’t preventative.

      • jc126 says:

        Still with the insults. Plenty of non-parents would still opt to have the surgery, like Christina Applegate who had the surgery before she had a child later. I gather that you want to feel like having children makes you special or whatever, but it’s not always the case.

      • Amanda G says:

        You don’t have to be parent to understand that. Stop insulting those of us who choose not to have children.

    • Irishae says:

      I know it’s not popular opinion and while I agree with AJ’s decision considering her circumstance, I very much agree with your comment. I’d say more, but I’m not in the mood to be lambasted today. +1

    • LittleDeadGirl says:

      Please be careful in using the word mutilation when discussing this kind of proceedure. It shames other women from getting it when they may need it. These kinds of decisions are personsl and should be made between women and their doctors. Women already feel bad enough as it is to have this proceedure done without adding the word mutilation to it. Jolie made an informed decision, but perhaps she should have taken advice from a celebrity gossip site which clearly has more scientific credibility.

    • xoxokaligrl says:

      +1 mordor

  101. janie says:

    Wow.. This makes everything else trivial.

  102. PerfectDate says:

    My cousin’s wife just had this same procedure done. She was on the operating table for 11 hours, and the drainage tubes were no picnic afterwards. I was so worried about her Trying to imagine what she was going thru was hard and seemed so scary. I so admired her courage and grace in her decision.
    The fact that AJ wrote about the procedure in such a matter-of-fact way, in such a graceful and calm manner, will hopefully help others faced with this to not be afraid, and to be able to face their choice with a love for life, and a love for their families, rather than society’s constraints on what makes someone lovable.

  103. Amanda G says:

    She is probably one of my least favorite celebrities, but I respect her very much for coming forward with this very personal information. I wonder how she kept it private? I guess it shows celebs can keep something a secret if it’s important to them.

  104. babythestarsshinebrite says:

    AJ is pretty amazing. She has a level of class and purpose that most A-list celebrities just can’t reach.

  105. Miss M says:

    I am sorry for those of you who have a family member , close friend/relative that developed breast and/or ovarian cancers.

    Can I make just a scientific correction in the terminology? For those of you that have said “I have the gene”, we all have BRCA1 and BRCA2. We need them functioning well, their role is to repair damaged DNA. As Angie simplified it, she said she has a “faulty” gene. She has a mutation that increases her chances of developing it. As far as I know, not all mutations in these genes will increase the chances of a patient to develop it.

    • Lucrezia says:

      The mistaken terminology doesn’t bug me just because it’s bad grammar. It bugs me because people hear “the breast cancer gene” and think the test just checks for 1 or 2 things (BRCA1 or BRCA2), so $3k sounds ridiculously expensive. In truth, what happens is they test you for each known mutation.

      People talk like it’s a blood test for something (say a virus). Look for the virus, you either have it or you don’t -fairly simple.

      Testing the BRCA genes is not like that. You’re not looking for X (we already know you have the BRCA gene), you’re looking for “something wrong with X”. So it’s more like taking your car to the mechanic: they check brakes, oil, engine, a bunch of things because there’s a whole bunch of things that could possibly be broken.

  106. videli says:

    I’m impressed. She’s impressive. She has more guts than many people I know, including me. There’s many aspects to admire in her op-ed, how efficient and serene it is, and how it managed to squeeze a little humor. She also held steady through her UN travel commitments this spring.

  107. Amy says:

    God bless her. I would have done the same thing. I hope others in her situation will follow suit.

    It’s pancreatic cancer which stalks my family (they say they can’t prove a genetic link, but I sure have watched a lot of my loved ones die). It’s hard to detect. It’s difficult to live without your pancreas, but it is possible, and I’ve often thought how I’d be willing to give it up

    • Mairead says:

      Does your family have a tendency towards haemochromatosis? (Too much iron upon the blood – if you have close Irish ancestry it is a possibility.) That does cause pancreatic cancer so being tested for it and adjusting your diet could have a huge positive benefit.

      • Amy says:

        We are of Irish descent. I hadn’t heard of this, but I will check it out! Thank you! I’m going to call my mom now and tell her, too

      • Mairead says:

        It’s nicknamed the Celtic gene (although its incorrect as we’re not technically Celtic). But it was only discovered in the mid-90s in the US and more and more people are being tested for it here. We have the evil, eeeeeeevil semi-socialised medicine here so getting the testing and treatment is nowhere near as expensive as the US. Although ironically I know people in the UK whose doctors don’t believe it exists (silly Paddy making things up attitude) so they come over here for testing!

        It’s certainly not the only potential cause for that type of cancer, but I have a huge belief in having all the facts at hand so that you can make the most informed decisions and can prepare yourself for whatever may come.

  108. I Choose Me says:

    Damn. I liked and respected her before but her op-ed has made me a fan for life. My mom had a breast cancer scare a couple of months ago (it’s not cancer thank God!) and I think she was more scared than she let on. So was I. I’m not ready to lose my mom. This is such an important topic for women and I’m glad she chose to be open about it.

  109. Andrea says:

    Just want to send a shout out to all the amazing women posting here who have battled cancer or have dealt with losing a close family member to breast cancer. Thank you all for sharing!

  110. StaCat1 says:

    I am not a huge fan of AJ. I think it’s noble that she speaks out for many who cannot speak for themselves. But from a NGO representative standpoint- I feel she takes alot of credit for her humanitarian work standing solely on soapboxes- THAT being said.

    I am VERY glad she has been vocal about this fight (since there has not been alot of thoughtful discusion about women’s health care choices-outside of abortion). And hopefully she will continue to speak out for women and their healthcare decisions.

    MOST importantly, I hope she will shine light on the lack of access to this type of testing/ other health services for normal women out here.

  111. Trudy says:

    My mother died of breast cance when i was 16, glad Angelina is taking preventative measures.

  112. Mairead says:

    Well, fair fu€ks to her, that’s all I can say!

    (And to fantastic ladies who’ve dealt with this issue with incredible bravery and a fair deal of common sense in applying the issues to your needs. It’s a trait that’s fairly lacking at the moment and ye should be lauded for it. )

  113. dahlianoir says:

    She’s a beautiful human being, inside out.

    I’m glad she made it know and will probably help researchers on breast cancer. We live in a world where it’s easier to buy medecines to get your d*ick up than to fight serious diseases like this.

  114. Mew says:

    I just wonder, how about the ovarian part? Is she going to have that removed too? Her decision is brave and understandable.

    • Loira says:

      In the text the writing seems to imply that she is considering it too.
      She says something like: first, the breasts, since the risk is so high.

  115. Camille (TheOriginal) says:

    I read this news last night and it kind of shocked me. She really is an amazing and brave woman. I wish her nothing but the best.

    And if anyone has anything nasty to say about this: what an a**hole you are. Seriously.

  116. Ravensdaughter says:

    I noticed the implication about ovarian CA as well. Removing the ovaries is an oophorectomy-removing the ovaries and a Fallopian tubes (I think) as well-this is for active CA, and a hysterectomy is usually part of that as well.
    Note: “Tubal ligation appears to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer in women who carry the BRCA1 (but not BRCA2) gene. The use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) for five years decreases the risk of ovarian cancer in later life by half.” I read this in the Wikipedia, so that’s my only authority. I was a pharmacist-I dealt with meds, not surgeries.
    I know from some PhD’s in the field that detecting ovarian CA is moving forward, albeit slowly. Hopefully before she undergoes THAT procedure, there will be enough screening information that she will have enough information to make as reasoned a choice as she did with the double mastectomy. ANd maybe the procedure above-having her “tubes tied”-will be enough.
    I expressed my admiration for in another post. She was MY hero for her devotion to UNHCR; now, even more.

  117. BooBooLaRue says:

    I stand with Andrea on this! You are all amazing women!

  118. april says:

    Very brave and classy. She’s a beautiful woman, inside and out. Sending positive energy her way for a very healthy, long future.

  119. Karma says:

    To the brave ladies on this board. Thank you for sharing your stories as well.

    Truly heartwarming to read that all of these children and families will have their mothers and wives close to them.

    Happy Mothers Day!

  120. Turtle Dove says:

    My prayers are with you Angie. I’m so teary atm. This was an incredibly brave decision.

    God bless.

  121. allheavens says:

    Both my parents died of cancer and I cannot describe to you the horror of watching your loved ones have the life sucked slowly and oh, so painfully from them.

    I applaud Angelina for having the guts to make that choice and for going public, because it will save lives.

  122. Nymeria says:

    I just wish genetic testing and preventive procedures were affordable. It’s very easy for Angelina Jolie to urge women to get tested and possibly treated, but she’s got millions of dollars to her name.

    That aside, this news shocked me, assuming it’s true. I don’t know why, but the thought of Angelina Jolie undergoing these procedures is disquieting.

    • KB says:

      “It has got to be a priority to ensure that more women can access gene testing and lifesaving preventive treatment, whatever their means and background, wherever they live. The cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2, at more than $3,000 in the United States, remains an obstacle for many women.”

  123. hmm says:

    For the love of CHR!ST, can everyone please stop saying “OP-ED.” The stupid abbreviation sounds really stupid and no one knows what it means anyway (opposite the editorial page), so why not just spell it out for the laymen. AGH.

  124. Lucinda says:

    There is no cancer in my family. (Yes, I’m extremely lucky.) I can’t imagine living with that kind of fear. She has always had my respect. Now she has my sympathy and awe as well.

  125. Simone says:

    I’m not a fan, but I admire her for sharing her journey in this way because it shines a light on genetic testing for women all over the world. Now how about raising money for women to have the testing done because most normal people can’t afford it or their insurance won’t cover it. I would love to see this go places. Kudos to Angelina and I think losing her mother to the cancer did impact her decision. This is the kind of celebrity news I like to see.

  126. Violet says:

    Hats off to Angelina for being proactive about her health and using her situation to get the message out to others who might have the same gene.

    She and Brad are arguable two of the most famous people on the planet, yet they managed to keep this private for months. Bless her for going public with her story.

  127. lisa2 says:

    There were a couple of things she said that I’m interested in..

    1. My own regimen will be posted in due course on the Web site of the Pink Lotus Breast Center. I hope that this will be helpful to other women.

    I think her writing will be very insightful and helpful to others. I will be checking the site as well.

  128. Andrea Yao says:

    I admire this extraordinary woman with all my heart and I wish her a long, healthy, happy life with her family.

  129. paranormalgirl says:

    “…I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.”

    Sounds to me like she’s planning to do the ovaries in the near future.

  130. Mazunte says:

    I couldn’t stand the Brangelina thing, but her words have totally changed my mind. Pretty hard but right decision. I’m glad to know that there’s chances of saving the nipples.

  131. Michele says:

    Love her even more now 🙂

  132. daisy says:

    so is this why brad pitt wanted those photos of a topless angie with horse so badly? shes just amazing

    • Mink says:

      That was my first thought. Strong lady. I’d have chosen the same, in her position. Much respect.

  133. Trashaddict says:

    This is all around us. My husband’s mother died of it. I believe her sister died of it. It devastated him. It makes me frightened for my daughters, who she never got to meet, and who physically take after their dad’s family more. 5 women at my workplace (it’s a big one) that I know personally have been through diagnosis and treatment.
    As scary as this is, when I heard Angelina’s news this morning, my heart actually leapt. To go against the passivity that women are taught, to take control of the situation, to be so matter-of-fact about it, which can be so effective at shooting down callous comments – it’s such a positive example to have out there about what’s REALLY important in life. Hat’s off Angie. I hope you had the best Mother’s day ever, and many to come.

  134. Poke em all says:

    It was very beautifully written. I love and respect Angie so much.

  135. mia says:

    Angelina did what she felt she needed to do because she was living with a fear she couldn’t handle.
    Most people do not have the income, insurance, time or support to cut off their breasts but if it helps her then good on her.

  136. Steve says:

    This shows so much class!…and classy IS sooooo sexy! She is sexier than ever! Women….YOU are sexy, not your breasts.

  137. The Original Victoria says:

    There are many things that can’t be said about Angelina, but I am proud to say that I have always been a fan of her as a person, from the little we are allowed to know about her. I think she has matured into a c classy, sophisticated, and compassionate woman, a great mother, and a seemingly fabulous partner.

    And she has prompted me to go ahead and schedule an appointment with my doctor to get the test. I have been putting it off for the longest, because only one person in my family has had cancer. And that was from tobacco use. But the thing about cancer is it can come to anyone at anytime. And I have been in denial as I get older about the fact it’s time to start taking these health issues seriously.

    Angelina has given me the courage to face head on whatever the results are of the test. And that’s why she shared her message. For people like me.

    Team Brangie. All the way.