A wave of supportive reaction greeted the surprising confession by Angelina Jolie on Monday night that she had had a double mastectomy earlier this year to lower her chances of cancer.
In a striking opinion piece in the New York Times, Jolie wrote:
"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."
Jolie said the procedure was painful, but only took a few days, and that her cancer risk plunged to 5 percent.
Figures from actress Kristen Bell to director Adam Shankman to producer Jane Rosenthal to writer-actress Nia Vardalos cheered Jolie's candor and bravery in tweets that filled the Twitterverse and social media networks.
Here is a small sampling:
– Kristen Bell(@IMKristenBell) May 14, 2013
– Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) May 14, 2013
– Monica C. Wright (@thewrightsource) May 14, 2013
– Tommy Oliver (@ProducerTommy) May 14, 2013
– Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) May 14, 2013
– Nia Vardalos (@NiaVardalos) May 14, 2013