Angelina Jolie's Aunt Dies of Breast Cancer & That Elective Mastectomy Seems Wiser Than Ever

Angelina JolieIt was less than two weeks ago that Angelina Jolie made the shocking announcement that she had a preventative double mastectomy to lower her risk of breast cancer. At the time, she said her own mother's death from cancer was part of her motivation, but she made no mention of her aunt, Debbie Martin, who passed away today at the age of 61. The cause: Breast cancer.

Martin is the younger sister of Jolie's mom, Marcheline Bertrand, who died of the disease in 2007 at the age of 56. Debbie's husband, Ron Martin, told E! News that Debbie died around 1:30 a.m. today, and that Angelina has "been in touch throughout the week."

He told the Associated Press that Debbie was diagnosed in 2004 with cancer, and didn't know she had the BRCA1 gene until that time. "Had we known, we certainly would have done exactly what Angelina did." He said Debbie did have her ovaries removed once she knew, and that and they were proud of Angelina's decision:

We have seen Angelina a number of times since Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer and Debbie and I were both very proud of her recent decision to have the double mastectomy, and to do everything she can to keep her family from having to go through what we've been through.

You have to wonder how much her aunt's diagnosis played a part in Angelina's decision. I have to imagine it was not small. To see two women in your family ravaged by cancer at such an early age has got to be terrifying. In the midst of her mourning for her aunt surely this makes Angelina more confident in her decision than ever.

I also have to wonder if this news won't cause those who questioned and even criticized Angelina's decision to think again. I hope so. She clearly has some cards stacked against her -- dangerous, deadly cards -- and she made the brave decision to do what she could to play them in her favor for her family. She deserves nothing but support, admiration, and at this time, our sympathies.

Does this news change how you feel about Angelina Jolie's decision to get a preventative double mastectomy?


Image via Splash


cancer, celeb moms, angelina jolie, breast cancer


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amazz... amazzonia

No it's its as decision made out of fear, if she  Is ment to die young she will no matter what

nonmember avatar Kristi

amazzonia, you're an idiot. How sad for her and her family and I'm glad she's being proactive in her healthcare and doing everything she can so her children don't lose her too soon.

Alexa... AlexaAdams

Took the words right out of my mouth Kristi.

Ember... Emberbaby

No, it  doesn't change my opinion.

I beleive she  made the most educated choice she could and I applaud her for it. Wishing her longevity and best wishes.

nonmember avatar Kayla

darn right it's made from fear amazzonia, fear of dying, fear of leaving her children motherless, fear of suffering. She made a smart decision and that you feel you have any say on this matter as if it's important to your life is ridiculous

Serab... Serabelle

Any one who criticizes others medical decisions is just plain stupid. Not your body, not your choice. She made a well informed decision at the recommendation of her doctor based on solid well known risk factors. More people should take their doctor's advice. Quit smoking, over eating, drinking excessively, then more people would kive longer, healthier, happier lives.

nonmember avatar Renee

I had breast cancer at 27 years old. Mastectomies.. Chemo .. I was tested for the Braca 1 gene along with several family members . I was positive as well as many other family members. my mother died at 48 of breast cancer. Diagnosed the first time at 41.. Her mother died of breast cancer at 47. My fathers mother also died of breast ca at 55..My aunt and first cousin are also survivors. My daughter who is 20 just got tested and she too is positive, she had made the decision after MUCH thought and research to have mastectomies and reconstruction this July. I support her decision , although this Is a hard one! All the doctors she had seen agree. I know first hand how hard chemo is . Surgery., etc. but I made the right choices for ME. Everyone can have an opinion. But no one should judge. This is an extremely hard choice to make. But to have this knowledge is a wonderful gift.

Stacie Mueller Handley

Best decision under very hard and sad circumstances.  I am a survivor, but while waiting for my genetic test results, I had already made the decision to have a double mastectomy and hysterectomy if they came back positive.  Thank God, they didn't and I did a lumpectomy, chemo, radiation, and tamoxifen treatments.  My kids were 3 & 5 at the time... you better believe fear was the motivating factor.  Good for her!!

nonmember avatar Tinsel

I thank God 4 angelina jollie for giving her the insight to take that decision,

nonmember avatar Tinsel

I thank God 4 angelina jollie for giving her the insight to take that decision,

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