Actress Angelina Jolie watched her mother die from breast cancer at the age of 56.
Jolie says she didn't want her own children to be afraid they'd lose her the same way. She made the decision to have a double mastectomy. Jolie made the announcement about her surgery in a candid op-ed appearing this morning in the New York Times. It was a preventive measure.
She found out she carries the BRCA-1 gene. Her risk of developing breast cancer was 87%. After surgery, that risk is now less than five percent.
"She chose to have preventive surgery which has been conclusively shown to not only reduce the risk but likely convey some survival benefit as well," says Dr. Jennifer Ashton, an ABC News medical correspond ant.
Jolie said she doesn't feel any less of a woman. Instead, she feels empowered that she made a strong choice that in no way