Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

Angelina Jolie: Why I Had A Double Mastectomy

This morning I awoke to find out that an actress I admire made the courageous decision to undergo a double mastectomy which very well may have saved her life.

Angelina Jolie chose the elective procedure to put her mind at ease, as well as those of her young children. Jolie lost her mother to ovarian cancer when her mother was only 56.

From the NY Times:

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.

You can read the entire column here.

Her partner and father of their children, Brad Pitt issued the following statement:

“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.”

I applaud Ms. Jolie’s decision. She is one Hollywood celebrity who has used her money and her fame to do wonderful things for the world she lives in.

Thank you, Angelina, you are an inspiration to many.

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