(ABC NEWS) Angelina Jolie has always been outspoken about issues that matter to her, and now, for the first time, she's revealing a very personal one: her decision to undergo a preventive double mastectomy after discovering she carries the BRCA1 gene, which increases the risk of developing breast 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 each woman," she writes today in a New York Times op-ed. "Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much as I could."
Jolie, 37, lost her mother in 2007 to ovarian cancer, and she explains in the article that her six children with partner Brad Pitt contributed to her decision to have the surgery--and now, she's speaking out about it to educate other women in her situation about their options.
Advertisement - story continues below