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.
Also read: Angelina Jolie Double Mastectomy Disclosure: What is the BRCA1 Mutation?
"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."
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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:
An admirable op ed by Angelina Jolie: nytimes.com/2013/05/14/opi…
– Kristen Bell(@IMKristenBell) May 14, 2013
Beautiful and brave article by #angelinajolie #cancerprevention My Medical Choice – NYTimes.com nytimes.com/2013/05/14/opi…
– Adam Shankman (@adammshankman) May 14, 2013
NYT Opinion @nytopinion30mAngelina Jolie on why she had a double mastectomy, and how it can save lives:nyti.ms/19l8bbZ
– jane rosenthal (@janetribeca) May 14, 2013
Huge gentle, loose-armed hugs from me and @rodeneronquilloto Angelina Jolie for making her double mastectomy surgery public.
– Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) May 14, 2013
RESPECT!!!!RT @cbsnews: Angelina Jolie: I had preventive double mastectomy cbsn.ws/19m4iDM
– Monica C. Wright (@thewrightsource) May 14, 2013
Incredibly moving op-ed by Angelina Jolie on her preventive double mastectomy. Wow. nyti.ms/10vbYP5
– Tommy Oliver (@ProducerTommy) May 14, 2013
Brave, honest, strong. Angelina Jolie gets a double mastectomy. Agree with @niavardalos – quiet respect for her insidemovies.ew.com/2013/05/14/ang…
– Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) May 14, 2013
A moment of quiet respect for Angelina Jolie's candor and all women's bravery in facing this choice: nyti.ms/17o4k1m
– Nia Vardalos (@NiaVardalos) May 14, 2013