Angelina Jolie double mastectomy update: Angelina Jolie breast cancer chances negligible

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    Following double mastectomy, Hollywood super star Angelina Jolie breast cancer chances have become negligible. The actor said there was just five percent chance of it affecting her in future

    Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy has shocked the whole world. Her fans, her detractors and even general public are full of sympathy for her and her partner of years Brad Pitt. This came so sudden and without any inkling of sorts to even the entertainment world, that it looked unbelievable.

    Known to the whole world for her gifted figure as well as her acting prowess, Angelina Jolie is one of the highest rated actors in Hollywood and is the top paid among both male and female actors.

    The thirty seven year old actress who started working in films at the age 7, but it was only at the age 18 when she started getting serious roles in Hollywood movies and got the lead role in reasonably well received film Cyborg 2. She has acted in many memorable films since then and has won a number of awards including Academy Award and Golden Globe Awards.

    In an article in New York Times that has gone viral since then, the actor informed the whole world about the major medical procedure she underwent. In the revelation that was made by the ‘Salt’ star in an interview, Jolie said that she had a defective gene, BRCA1, which according to the doctors had increased her risk of developing breast cancer to 87 percent, along with the risk of ovarian cancer to 50 percent, a disease that killed her mother at the age of 56. Post surgery, which began in February,  the risk of the star acquiring breast cancer has been reduced to mere five percent. The female lead of Mr and Mrs Smith said: “I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer,” she wrote. “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.”

    Angelina Jolie who said his partner of years Brad Pitt was there during the operating has six children – three adopted and three with Brad Pitt. The actor says she first had “nipple delay” to maximise the chances of saving her nipples, before breast tissue removal and, nine weeks later, reconstruction. Jolie said: “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.” Talking about Jolie’s decision, Head of research at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Dr Richard Francis,  said that faults in the BRCA1 gene, which on average put women at a 65 percent risk of developing breast cancer, were rare and in most cases were linked to family history. While maintaining that a mastectomy would not necessarily be the appropriate treatment for everyone with the gene, Francis said: “For women like Angelina it’s important that they are made fully aware of all the options that are available, including risk-reducing surgery and extra breast screening. Though Angelina decided that a preventative mastectomy was the right choice for her, this may not be the  case for another woman in a similar situation. We urge anyone who is worried about their risk of breast cancer to talk it through with their doctor.”

    There are other instances of other people undergoing the procedures and clearly Jolie is not the first one to have her breasts removed. In November 2012, the television personality Sharon Osbourne had disclosed that she had had her breasts removed after a genetic test revealed that she had inherited one of the genes that predispose carriers to breast cancer. “As soon as I found out I had the breast cancer gene, I thought: ‘The odds are not in my favour,'” she told Hello! “I’ve had cancer before and I didn’t want to live under that cloud. I decided to just take everything off, and had a double mastectomy. I didn’t even think of my breasts in a nostalgic way, I just wanted to be able to live my life without that fear all the time,” said Osbourne, adding that the decision was “a no-brainer” because the surgery hugely reduced her risk of developing breast cancer.

    Her friends and Hollywood are on her side and are appreciative of the drastic step she took. Welcoming the decision of Jolie and terming it as a benchmark for other woman suffering or having the risk of acquiring breast cancer, Wendy Watson, who founded the UK’s National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline said: “It is excellent, because it is the highest profile you can get for it. This has raised the profile for other women to look to if they have a family history and would benefit from being screened more frequently, or having surgery or having a genetic test. She probably feels that undergoing the operation is common sense but it probably does take a certain amount of courage to face it.” This is going to prompt many more women to take this decisive step in the days to come.