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Angelina Jolie taking control of breast cancer before it takes control of her

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Blog by Bettina Reid | May 29th, 2013

Most people have already heard, a couple weeks ago Angelina Jolie came out and shared a very private matter with the world....

Angelina chose to have a double mastectomy after finding out she had a high risk of developing breast cancer. Her decision I can imagine was not taken lightly, especially after watching her mother lose her battle to breast cancer after fighting it for over a decade. 

By choosing this route she lowered her risk from 87% down to 5%. But more importantly she was able to take control of her own medical situation without letting it take control of her. 

Angelina Jolie hasn't done any interviews but did write an article for the New York Times in an effort to empower other women to get tested. As a celebrity she brought light to a very sensitive topic, to read her piece visit the following link:

Angelina Jolie - My Medical Choice 

Many of you may have read and know my strong feelings for making sure all the women I know get tested. For our family it hit home because we have had a couple friends develop breast cancer and thankfully are presently cancer free. But both chose to have a lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy for their own reasons. 

It takes a lot of strength and courage to go through fighting against any disease or serious illness, but Angelina deserves a lot of credit for putting a face to women considering this surgery. It is a very difficult decision for a woman to decide to remove a very important part of their body - their breasts. Much like shaving off our hair, how we look is part of our identity, part of how we identify as women. Angelina is a very beautiful woman and her surgery hsan't changed that.

Only a couple days ago it was released that her aunt also lost her battle to breast cancer. She had the same defective gene that prompted Angelina to have her surgery. As hard on the family as this might be, this likely only re-assured them that she made the right decision.

If you are over 40 please go for your mammogram if you haven't already and make it a regular practice to do self examinations.