Brad Pitt calls Angelina Jolie's difficult decision 'absolutely heroic'
Published Tuesday, May 14, 2013 12:45PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 14, 2013 12:58PM EDT
Brad Pitt has praised his fiancée Angelina Jolie as "heroic" for making the decision to have a double mastectomy.
The 49-year-old actor has nothing but admiration for his partner after she took the drastic option of having both her breasts removed after she was identified as carrying the BRCA1 cancer gene, which gave her an 87 per cent chance of developing breast cancer and a 50 per cent risk of getting ovarian cancer.
Brad is delighted Angelina -- who he has been in a relationship with since 2005 -- has made a full recovery from the operation and is looking forward to living a long, fruitful life with her and their children.
In a statement released to the Evening Standard newspaper, he said: "Having witnessed this decision first hand, I find Angie's choice, as well as so many others like her, absolutely heroic. I thank our medical team for their care and focus.
"All I want for is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family."
Angelina decided to be tested for the gene because she lost her 56-year-old mother Marcheline Bertrand to ovarian cancer in 2007.
In an article penned for the New York Times, she wrote: "My doctors estimated that I had an 87 per cent risk of breast cancer and a 50 per cent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.
"Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.
"On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work."
Angelina now only has a five per cent chance of developing breast cancer and she admitted her and Brad's six kids -- Maddox, 11, Pax, nine, Zahara, eight, Shiloh, six, and four-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne -- were a big motivation for her to have the surgery because she wants to see them all grow up.
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