While the world is currently dissecting her private life following the recent announcement of plans to divorce Brad Pitt, actress Angelina Jolie's advocacy for preventative breast cancer surgery must not be forgotten.
There are many risk factors for breast cancer, a main risk is genetic and involves faulty genes. Women who carry faulty genes such as BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53 and TPEN are statistically more likely to get breast or ovarian cancer. In fact, according to the National Cancer Institute, women with the faulty genes have a 65 percent risk for the cancers.
Angelina Jolie was one of those women.
Having preventative surgery such as a double mastectomy or the removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries is seen as an effective way to reduce the risk of cancer - usually by around 90 percent — but it is considered drastic and should not be considered lightly.
Jolie found that she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer, which her aunt died from, and a 50% risk of contracting ovarian cancer - the disease that killed her mother at age 56. Jolie has the faulty BRCA1 gene, a rare mutation that just 0.25% of the general population carry, but is responsible for 2% of breast cancer cases and between 10 and 15% of ovarian cancer cases.
In February 2013, the actress underwent a double