Angelina Jolie says she has undergone a preventive double mastectomy after being told that she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer, along with a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.
In an article published in the opinion section of Tuesday's New York Times, Jolie said her decision was informed by her mother's long fight against cancer. Marcheline Bertrand died in 2007 at age 56.
Jolie said she hoped that other women would find encouragement from her story.
"I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer," Jolie said in the Times article. "It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options."