Actress Angelina Jolie encourages preventative mastectomy

Breast Cancer

EL PASO, Texas - Health recommendations from Angelina Jolie, an Oscar-winning actress partially known for her bizarre obsessions, such as carrying her then-husband's vile of blood around her neck and multicultural adoptions, may seem odd.

But the United Nations goodwill ambassador is kicking off a new crusade one doctors say people should pay attention to.

In a New York Times op-ed, Jolie talks about her mother, who died of breast cancer at the age of 56.

"I can tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer," she said.

According to doctors, Jolie had an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer. Jolie said she wanted to be proactive and minimize the risk. She decided to have a double preventative mastectomy in February.

Dr. Ozan Sozer of El Paso Cosmetic Surgery works with other surgeons who perform the mastectomy by removing tissue from the breast. Sozer takes natural tissue from the abdomen or uses implants to reconstruct the breasts.

He said modern technology has made it possible for women to visit an oncologist, find out if they're at risk for breast cancer, and get the operation. And insurance companies, he said, will cover the cost.

These surgeries don't guarantee anyone from being cancer free forever. But Jolie said her chances of getting breast cancer has decreased to only 5 percent and she encourages other women to be proactive in the fight against cancer.  

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