Angelina Jolie Surgeon Lauds Decision to Undergo Double Mastectomy

Image: Angelina Jolie Surgeon Lauds Decision to Undergo Double Mastectomy

Monday, 19 Aug 2013 08:33 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Angelina Jolie quietly underwent a preventative double mastectomy earlier this year after learning she was at an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer, and now her surgeon is speaking out about the actress' decision.

Dr. Kristi Funk of California's Pink Lotus Breast Center appears on the September cover of Los Angeles magazine to discuss 38-year-old Jolie's surgery and the impact it had on women around the world.

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"When someone who is arguably the most beautiful woman in the world removes the part of her body that is symbolic of femininity and sexuality, you have to say, 'Why would she do that?'" Funk said. "She knew always that in her philanthropic core she couldn't keep this a secret and be who she is. She always knew."

Jolie "waited to find the perfect timing in her personal and professional life, but I think most importantly in her soul," to tell the world about her surgery, Funk said. "She is intensely private, but she calculated the moment when she would be ready to reveal something so personal."

Jolie wrote about her experience in a New York Times op-ed, explaining that she carried a "faulty" gene that increased her chance of breast cancer. She also announced she plans to have her ovaries removed because she has a 50 percent chance of developing the same ovarian cancer that killed her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, at age 56.

"I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer," she wrote in the op-ed. "It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options."

Jolie made her first post-surgery appearance in June at the premiere of fiancé Brad Pitt's "World War Z."

"I feel great, I feel wonderful, and I'm very, very grateful for all the support," she told reporters. "It's meant a lot to me."

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"I've been very happy just to see the discussion about women's health expanded, and that means the world to me. And after losing my mom to these issues, I am very grateful for it. And I've been very moved by the support of people."

Related stories:

Women Want Gene Test Because Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie to Have Ovaries Removed After Mastectomy

Angelina Jolie in 'Maleficent' Can't Scare Co-Star Vivienne Jolie-Pitt  

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