LOS ANGELES: Health activists, doctors and movie fans hailed glamorous Hollywood megastar Angelina Jolie on Tuesday for her decision to reveal that she had had her breasts removed to reduce her cancer risk.
The 37-year-old actress underwent a double mastectomy to minimize the risk that she might develop breast cancer as a result of inheriting a “faulty gene,” and chose to publicize her surgery as an example to other women and mothers.
Her partner and fellow star actor Brad Pitt led a worldwide choir of praise, declaring her “heroic,” followed by her doctors, fellow stars and thousands of supporters, who took to social media to praise her openness.
“We hope that the awareness she is raising around the world will save countless lives,” Jolie’s surgeon Dr. Kristi Funk of the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Los Angeles wrote on a blog, praising her patient’s “bold choices.”
Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of ovarian cancer at the age of 56 and passed on the “faulty” gene, BRCA1, that put the actress at higher risk.
“She’s very brave to speak out,” said Katherine McLane, vice president for communications at Livestrong, the cancer charity founded by cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong before his fall from grace in a doping scandal.
But McLane voiced hope that Jolie’s experience would also generate “more attention about affordable health care for all women.”