Angelina Jolie’s surgeon has called her decision to be open about her double mastectomy “astounding”.
The Hollywood actress underwent the operation earlier this year after discovering she had a gene which made her more predisposed to breast cancer.
She announced her decision in an article she wrote for the New York Times and her doctor Kristi Funk of the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Beverly Hills is full of admiration for her.
“What she did is astounding because she could have kept it a secret. No one ever had to have known what she did,” she told ET.
Angelina’s fiancé Brad Pitt supported her throughout her three surgeries and was by her side for each one.
Although caring for an A-list couple might have made some people nervous, Kristi didn’t feel that way at all.
“Oddly, I was not intimidated. My head was telling me I should be but I never was. And I was very honored that she chose me as her surgeon,” she explained.
Angelina lost her mother Marcheline Bertrand to ovarian cancer in 2007, when she was 57. It was a terrible time for the 38-year-old and is said to have driven her decision to have a double mastectomy. The star and Brad raise six children together and she has been open about wanting to be there for them for as long as possible.
While some parents might struggle to explain such a major operation to their loved ones, Kristi revealed Angelina had no qualms about her choice.
“Angelina didn’t need any advice on [talking to her kids],” she said. “Her maternal instincts had it covered.”
The Hollywood star’s defective BRCA1 gene meant she had an 87 per cent chance of getting breast cancer and a 50 per cent chance of developing ovarian cancer.
Both Angelina and Brad have spoken of their hope that her openness will encourage other women to take preventative measures if necessary. It’s a sentiment Kristi echoes.
“Mastectomy does not mean a big slash across your chest and disfigurement and feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. It can be a beautiful operation,” she said.
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