Brad Pitt has praised his partner Angelina Jolie“s decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy as “absolutely heroic”.
“Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie’s choice, as well as so many others like her[s], absolutely heroic,” the actor told the Evening Standard. “I thank our medical team for their care and focus.”
“All I want for her is to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children,” said 49-year-old Brad. “This is a happy day for our family.”
The Hollywood beauty revealed her news in a moving article in the New York Times on Monday. The mum-of-six said her decision motivated by her children, and that as she underwent the months of medical procedures, her family remained first and foremost her priority.
Angelina, 37, said she opted to undergo the surgery after learning that she carried the BRCA1 gene that could dramatically increase her risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
The silver screen beauty lost her mum to ovarian cancer in 2007 and said that the decision to have the mastectomy was “not easy, but it is one I am very happy I made,” she wrote in her article, entitled My Medical Choice.
“I can tell my children that they don”t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer,” the Hollywood actress said. “It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable.”
She also urges other women, in particular those with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek medical advice so they can make their own informed choices about what steps to take.
“My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 per cent to under 5 per cent,” she wrote. “I can tell my children they don”t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”
Oscar-winning actress Angelina underwent the three-month medical procedure, which involves tissue being removed from both breasts, in April but kept it quiet until now.
Since the news broke, a host of stars have praised the Hollywood actress”s courage and honesty upon speaking out. “I have a lot of respect for Angelina Jolie. Tough decision and brave to go public with it,” tweeted Dawn O”Porter, while actress Kristen Bell called her article “admirable”.
“I commend Angelina Jolie for her courage and thoughtfulness in sharing her story today regarding her mastectomy. So brave!” wrote singer Sheryl Crow, who has suffered from breast cancer.
The Hunger Games actress Elizabeth Banks shared a link to Angelina”s article with her Twitter followers with the message, “Much respect & for sharing in classy way: Angelina Jolie on why she had a double mastectomy & how it can save lives”. Dita Von Teese echoed her thoughts, writing “Angelina”s admirable, informative letter, a must-read.”
Angelina”s is a story that will resonate deeply with many women, including former Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton, who underwent a double mastectomy last year.
The popstar tweeted, “I wish Angelina & all women who are affected by the BRCA gene all my love & strength. Thank u all 4 your support through mine Luv Michelle.”
“ know how much she has gone through – it is identical,” 33-year-old Michelle told ITV”s Daybreak. “I decided to have the double mastectomy pretty much as soon as I found out that I carried the gene, reconstruction on the same day.”
“The reason that I did it was because I have a little baby girl and I didn’t want her asking me later on in life “Has Mummy got a chance of dying sooner rather than later” and I never wanted that to be an option.”
Michelle says that Angelina”s honesty and bravery will help women who are going through the same treatment.
“I can”t even stress how much of an impact I had, saying that I was going through this, on women – especially through Twitter and people writing to me,” says the singer.
“Imagine what impact somebody as huge as Angelina Jolie can have on this.”