Cancer survivors and fellow celebrities are praising Angelina Jolie's decision to undergo—and share the deeply personal details about— a preventative double mastectomy.
The surgery was completed last month after Jolie discovered that she carried the "faulty" BRCA1 gene and her doctors estimated that she had an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer.
In a widely shared op-ed published in The New York Times Tuesday, Jolie explains that her mother had died of breast cancer and she wanted to take a proactive role to avoid the same fate.
She explained that she decided to share the details of her medical decision to inspire other women to be proactive about their health.
"I hope that other women can benefit from my experience," she wrote. "Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people's hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action."
The first to weigh in was her longtime partner, Brad Pitt, who said in a statement to London's Evening Standard that all he wants is for Angelina to have a long and healthy life with him and their children. "Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie's choice, as well as many others like her, absolutely heroic," he added.
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