Angelina Jolie says that she has had a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carried a gene that made it extremely likely she would get breast cancer.
The Oscar-winning actress and partner to Brad Pitt made the announcement in the form of an op-ed she authored for Tuesday’s New York Times under the headline “My Medical Choice.” She writes that between early February and late April she completed three months of surgical procedures to remove both breasts.
Jolie, 37, writes that she made the choice with thoughts of her six children after watching her own mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, die too young from cancer.
“My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56,” Jolie writes. “She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.”
She writes that, “They have asked if the same could happen to me.”
Jolie said that after genetic testing she learned she carries the “faulty” BRCA1 gene and had an 87 percent chance of getting the disease herself.
She said she has kept the process private so far but wrote about it with hopes of helping other women.
“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,” Jolie writes. “My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”
Hader to leave Saturday Night Live
Bill Hader has become the latest fan favorite to announce his departure from NBC’s long-lived “Saturday Night Live.”
Hader, best known for his celebrity impressions and the bizarre New York City correspondent Stefon, told the New York Times that this upcoming show, the season finale on Saturday, would be his final “SNL” appearance.
“It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point,” the 34-year-old Hader told the paper. “It got to a point where I said, ‘Maybe it’s just time to go.’ ”
The birthday bunch
Playwright Sir Peter Shaffer is 87. Actress-singer Anna Maria Alberghetti is 77. Counterculture icon Wavy Gravy is 77. Singer Trini Lopez is 76. Actress-singer Lainie Kazan is 73. Actress Gunilla Hutton is 71. Singer-songwriter Brian Eno is 65. Actor Nicholas Hammond (“The Sound of Music”) is 63. Actor Chazz Palminteri is 61. TV personality Giselle Fernandez is 52. Rock musician Ahmet Zappa is 39. Actor David Krumholtz is 35.