Angelina Jolie: I decided to be proactive

AngelinaJolieThe HBOC community is buzzing today. I’m sure you’ve already heard the news: Angelina Jolie underwent a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy in February ’13. She also revealed that she carries a mutated BRCA1 gene in an op-ed piece she wrote for the New York Times.

I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made.

For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices. – Angelina Jolie

I’m very thankful and excited that she has decided to share her story. Along with Sharon Osbourne, Allyn Rose, Giuliana Rancic, Christina Applegate, Sheryl Crow, and other women in the limelight, she is using her platform to educate and bring awareness to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The story was the main feature on the CNN.com website the day the op-ed piece was published!

Just like me, Angelina Jolie had a nipple-sparing double mastectomy and chose the expander/implant route for breast reconstruction. She first had a nipple delay procedure, which is an extra step done two weeks prior to the mastectomy (see: Nipple delay). She had an inframammary fold incision, allograft, and a whopping six (!!!) drains post-op. The Pink Lotus Breast Center, where Angelina Jolie had her PMB, has posted more details of her journey. Read their great blog post.

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