Jolie finds out out she is carrying the BRCA1 gene which gives her an 87% of contracting breast cancer. As a preventive measure she has a double mastectomy, reducing the chances of her getting the disease to less than 5%. She writes an op-ed in the New York Times about her experience:
I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.
I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer. It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.
The reconstructive surgery lasts through April. Jolie is also told she has a 50% of contracting ovarian cancer but will deal with that at a later time.