Angelina Jolie Gets Double Mastectomy to Make Sure She's Around for Her Kids (VIDEO)

Angelina Jolie and Brad PittLast night in an editorial that has left the world stunned, Angelina Jolie announced that in February she underwent a double mastectomy. She said that after her mother's death at 56 from ovarian cancer, she got tested for the BRCA1 gene, and when it was positive, she decided to do whatever was necessary to prevent her six children from losing their mother too.

In the powerful and brave piece, the 37-year-old actress wrote, "I can tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer." 

The process wasn't easy, but through it all, she has put her children first. A source told People that Brad and Angelina did everything they could to keep their kids' lives as uninterrupted as possible. "Things have appeared normal. The kids have kept their schedules as usual. They have been in school during the day and have attended after-school activities like they always do."

More From Our Partners: Angelina Jolie Gushes About Brad Pitt

It was just two weeks after the surgery that the couple took Vivienne and Knox to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day. For Easter we saw the whole family hunting eggs. Of course that doesn't mean there wasn't pain, fear, and stress on their family along the way, but what a relief it must be to be able to tell her children that she has taken charge and done everything she can to fight this disease. The surgery takes her risk of breast cancer down from 87 percent to 5 percent, and that's pretty amazing.

She wrote that when they had asked her previously if what happened to her mother could happen to her, she told them not to worry, but now she can say it with conviction. While everyone might not choose the same path given this news, she deserves nothing but admiration for making the one she felt best for her family.

It's amazing how our outlook on our own health often changes once we have children. Suddenly, every decision we make about our own bodies has much bigger ramifications. I've wanted to be healthier because I want to be around for my kids. I make (and keep!) medical appointments that I used to skip, and I get things checked out that I previously would have put off before I became a mother. Because there's nothing more heartbreaking or motivating to be as healthy as we can be than the thought of not being there to watch our children grow and live their lives. Kudos to Angelina for her bravery and for serving as an inspiration to all of us to take charge of our health when we're able.

As she wrote: "Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of."

What would you do if you found out you carried this gene?


Image via ABC

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heath... heather_H83

Angelina proves to be a strong and brave mother

that would do ANYTHING for her children.

bless you and good healing!

The world will be a better place for having you in it longer!

Leslie Michelle

My mother had breast cancer before I was born and still managed to livet o be almost sixty before she passed away.

I admit, I haven't been tested. I admit that the reason I haven't been tested is because I'm scared of what the results will be. I don't have insurance. If that test came back positive for me, I wouldn't have any real options. So, I just continue on, hoping and praying it doeesn't happen to me.

I'll be 40 in October. My mother was 26 when she had it.

What Angelina did was brave and I wish her all the best and a speedy recovery.

Jessica Fraley Flintjer

Gene or not She did not have Cancer If anything it will instill fear in her children. What happened to eating healthy(there are lots of foods known to stop cancer in it's tracks not affordable diet to most but most definitely to Her and Her Family), exercising and Commonsense.I can't believe how many people are praising her for this Insane act. SMH!!!! My Uncle Died of Brain Cancer, My Aunt Died from Breast Cancer, My Grandfather died of Liver Cancer and My Mother is in Remission from Lung Cancer. I Changed My Lifestyle and watch everything I put into my Body. It's hard but it is possible and I am Healthier than I've been in 20 Years and confident I will not get Cancer and instill these values in my Children.

jeane... jeanellensmommy

I'm sure Angelina Jolie already does a lot of the preventative things to help. I think that even with all of those things, 87% is still too high of a number for me. I think this is just one more item of preventative maintenance for her body. Taking her chances to 5% down from 87% probability is nothing to sneeze at.

Joanne Frank

I admire her reason for doing it but there is an ignorance about any cancer. We all have cancer cells. Its our imune system that protects us from it spreading. if you take care of your imunsystem with eating organic and staying away from chemicals in products and food. You wont ever get cancer. Do the research and homeophathic doctors know this. there is new breaking healing medicines other than radiation and chemo. I am so sorry that people are not aware of this. Its the drug companies and all these machines that we have today that make money for the medical profession. I am looking forward someday when we all are healthy as a result of the medical professions going forward on healing the body and not promoting surgery or drugs.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

Stop spouting absolute bollocks about homeopathinc remedies. IT'S. WATER.

nonmember avatar JLW

Well said, Joanne!

femal... femaleMIKE

She made the right choice for her. 


Palmo... Palmolive

I think she made the right decision, even if you eat organic and take care of your immune system exercise etc....Sure! it does help!....However when you are a person that has a BRC1 gene or BRC2 like me ...Cancer is in your genes!!!....BRC1 is very aggressive and usually on women between 20- 40 the cells ( good ones and bad ones) are reproducing more quickly...BRC 2  is less aggressive and usually in women that are older . Don't forget when you have your breast remove they have to test your lymph nodes also to test for cancerous cells. these days they have more easy ways to test than remove. Just to say if you do have lymph nodes remove there is a great chance that you can wake up one day with lymph edema...and that needs some treatment and you are stuck with this for the rest of your life.

Trish Van

Jessica you sound some what ignorant. Cancer is a gene EVERYONE has. It is a matter on if it "activates". If cancer runs in your family then it sounds like you are in a bit of denial. Sometimes no matter how well you eat, sleep, exercise it happens. I am pretty sure this VERY RICH woman ate the best foods,did preventative and exercised due to her profession. When you have an 87% chance she did the logical thing. Should it be national news something that many woman go through everyday? I suppose not but you may want to research the BRC1/BRC2 gene. My mother had her breast removed and still died as it spread to her liver and brain. do not overlook your high risks. That is just silly.

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