Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad has been diagnosed with breast cancer, officials confirmed on August 8.
President Bashar al-Assad’s wife was receiving treatment for an early-stage malignant tumor.
Born and raised in London, Asma al-Assad has been a highly controversial figure.
The Syrian first lady was one of twelve people placed under EU sanctions in 2012 over the government’s violent response to the Syrian uprising.
A photograph of Asma al-Assad and her husband was posted on Twitter together with the words: “Mrs. Asma al-Assad begins the first stage of treatment for a malignant breast tumor that was discovered early…. the Presidency and its team wish Mrs. Asma a speedy recovery.”
A dual British-Syrian national, Asma al-Assad attended school and university in London before becoming an investment banker.
She moved to Syria in 2000 and married former ophthalmologist Bashar al-Assad, just months after he succeeded his father Hafez al-Assad as president.
Bashar and Asma al-Assad were initially presented as reformers and as a change from the repressive rule of the late president, with a glowing portrait of the first lady published by Vogue in February 2011 – and since deleted – describing her as “the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies”.
However, just a month later, police reacted brutally to protests in the southern city of Deraa, sparking a conflict which has claimed the lives of around half a million people and displaced millions more.
In her first public comments on the violence in February 2012, Asma al-Assad firmly stood beside her husband.
The same year, activists released thousands of private emails purportedly from the president and his wife apparently showing that Asma al-Assad continued to buy luxury goods even after the uprising had begun. She was also personally sanctioned by the EU.
Asma al-Assad did not speak to foreign media again until 2016, when she told Russian state-backed television that she had previously rejected offers of asylum abroad.
Maths genius Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to receive the prestigious Fields Medal for mathematics, has died in the US qt the age of 40.
The Iranian, a professor at Stanford University, had breast cancer which had spread to her bones.
Nicknamed the “Nobel Prize for Mathematics”, the Fields Medal is only awarded every four years to between two and four mathematicians under 40.
The prize was given to Prof. Maryam Mirzakhani in 2014 for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Maryam Mirzakhani’s death caused “great sorrow,” state media reported.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said her death was a cause for grief for all Iranians.
US-Iranian scientist Firouz Naderi posted on Instagram: “A light was turned off today. It breaks my heart… gone far too soon.”
Image source YouTube
Firouz Naderi added in a subsequent post: “A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife.”
Maryam Mirzakhani and her husband, Czech scientist Jan Vondrak, had one daughter.
Some social media users criticized Iranian officials for not using recent images of Maryam Mirzakhani which showed her uncovered hair. Iranian women must cover their hair in line with a strict interpretation of Islamic law on modesty.
Iranian official media and politicians used older pictures in their social media tributes, which show her hair covered.
Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne described Prof. Maryam Mirzakhani as “a brilliant mathematical theorist and also a humble person who accepted honors only with the hope that it might encourage others to follow her path”.
“Maryam is gone far too soon but her impact will live on for the thousands of women she inspired to pursue math and science,” he said.
“Her contributions as both a scholar and a role model are significant and enduring and she will be dearly missed here at Stanford and around the world.”
Born in 1977, Maryam Mirzakhani was brought up in post-revolutionary Iran and won two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad as a teenager.
She earned a PhD at Harvard University in 2004, and later worked at Princeton before securing a professorship at Stanford in 2008.
Maryam Mirzakhani’s receipt of the Fields Medal three years ago ended a long wait for women in the mathematics community for the prize, first established in 1936.
She was also the first Iranian to receive it.
The citation said Maryam Mirzakhani had made “striking and highly original contributions to geometry and dynamical systems” and that her most recent work constituted “a major advance”.
According to a new study, taller people have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer and skin cancer, among other cancers.
The Swedish study of five million people appears to support the theory that height and cancer risk are linked.
Its results found that for every extra 4in of height, when fully grown, the risk of developing cancer increased by 18% in women and 11% in men.
However, experts said the study did not take into account many risk factors and that tall people should not be worried.
They said that to reduce risk of cancer, the most important things to do are: giving up smoking, cutting down on alcohol, adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Photo Getty Images
Previous studies have shown a link between height and an increased risk of developing cancer, although why it exists is not known.
In a preliminary report of the study, presented at the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology conference, researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm describe how they tracked a large group of Swedish adults for more than 50 years.
Taller women had a 20% greater risk of developing breast cancer, they said, while taller men and women increased their risk of skin cancer (or melanoma) by 30%.
This study’s early findings are very similar in size to those found by other studies.
Dr. Emelie Benyi, who led the study, said the results could help to identify risk factors that could lead to the development of treatments.
She added: “As the cause of cancer is multi-factorial, it is difficult to predict what impact our results have on cancer risk at the individual level.”
Although it is clear that adult height is not a cause of cancer, it is thought to be a marker for other factors related to childhood growth.
Scientists say taller people have more growth factors, which could encourage cancer development, they have more cells in their body because of their size, which increases the risk of one of them turning cancerous, and a higher food intake, which also makes them more at risk of cancer.
She was best known for playing Batgirl in the 1960s Batman TV series.
A statement on Yvonne Craig’s official website said the star had suffered from breast cancer, which had spread to her liver.
“In the end, her mind still wanted to fight but her body had given up,” her family said in a statement.
A trained dancer, Yvonne Craig began her career at The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and used those skills to perform her own stunts alongside Adam West’s Batman.
She also played Martha, the green Orion Slave Girl who wanted to kill Captain Kirk, in the third season of Star Trek.
Yvonne Craig also starred in two movies opposite Elvis Presley – It Happened at the World’s Fair and Kissin’ Cousins.
It was her performance as librarian Barbara Gordon, who secretly moonlights as Batgirl, that defined her career.
Yvonne Craig joined the TV show in its third and final series in 1967, thwacking and kapow-ing Gotham’s bad guys alongside Batman and Robin.
The show is still seen around the world today, something which came as a surprise to the actress in her later years.
Later in life, Yvonne Craig worked as a estate agent before going into the prepaid phone card business. In 2000, she wrote a book called From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond, which took stock of her career.
More recently, Yvonne Craig provided voices for the Nickelodeon cartoon series Olivia, and was the executive producer on the documentary film Birth.
In the statement on Yvonne Craig’s website, her family said: “Yvonne excelled in ballet, a film career, a business life, as well as in philanthropic and charity work over the years.
“She had been able to do this with joy and much laughter and she wouldn’t have changed a thing. Well, maybe one thing and that would have been not to get cancer.
“She had been in chemo almost continuously for the past two plus years since being diagnosed and that had weakened her immune system as well as her body.
“This didn’t dampen her sense of humor or her spirit, she intended to fight and win this battle. In the end, her mind still wanted to fight but her body had given up.”
The actress died on August 17 at her home in the Pacific Palisades, surrounded by her immediate family.
Yvonne Craig is survived by her husband, Kenneth Aldrich, sister Meridel Carson and nephews Christopher and Todd Carson.
Rita Wilson has had a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Tom Hanks’ wife, 58, told People magazine that she had undergone the procedure – the same one that Angelina Jolie underwent in 2013 – and was “expected to make a full recovery”.
Rita Wilson, who took a break from her Broadway play Fish in the Dark last week to have surgery, said she had been diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma after seeking a second opinion from pathologists.
“I share this to educate others that a second opinion is critical to your health,” the actress wrote.
“You have nothing to lose if both opinions match up for the good, and everything to gain if something that was missed is found.”
Rita Wilson, who appeared with Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle and has a recurring role in TV series The Good Wife, is expected to return to Fish in the Dark on May 5th.
Mexican actress Lorena Rojas has died at the age of 44 following a lengthy battle with breast cancer.
Lorena Rojas starred in more than a dozen soap operas.
The actress was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and became an advocate for cancer education in Latino communities.
Lorena Rojas passed away at her home in Miami. Her last message to her fans was sent on Twitter less than a week ago.
In the birthday message, Lorena Rojas wrote: “Thank you all for celebrating my birthday with me. Beautiful day.”
Lorena Rojas starred in such acclaimed Spanish soaps as El Cuerpo del Deseo, Pecados Ajenos, Alcanzar Una Estrella and, most recently, the series Demente Criminal.
She also appeared in movies such as Manos Quietas and Aventurera.
In addition, Lorena Rojas wrote and recorded an album of children’s music called Hijos del Sol, which was inspired by her daughter Luciana.
Lorena Rojas was initially thought to have made a recovery after her original breast cancer diagnosis. But in 2012 she was told her cancer had spread to her bones, and last year the tumor spread to her liver.
Her boyfriend, family and friends were by her side when she died, her agent Latin WE said.
A statement from Latin WE said: “Lorena takes a step into eternal life leaving as her greatest legacy the love for animals and for art in all its forms, her tender devotion to her daughter, her passion for life, the appreciation of all her Lobitas and fans who she loved until the end.”
A new study has suggested that most types of cancer can be put down to bad luck rather than risk factors such as smoking.
The US research team was trying to explain why some tissues were millions of times more vulnerable to cancer than others.
The results, in the journal Science, showed two thirds of the cancer types analyzed were caused just by chance mutations rather than lifestyle.
However some of the most common and deadly cancers are still heavily influenced by lifestyle.
In the US, 6.9% of people develop lung cancer, 0.6% brain cancer and 0.00072% get tumors in their laryngeal cartilage at some point in their lifetime.
Toxins from cigarette smoke could explain why lung cancer is more common.
However, the digestive system is exposed to more environmental toxins than the brain, yet brain tumors are three times as common as those in the small intestine.
The team at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health believe the way tissues regenerate is the answer.
Old tired cells in the body are constantly being replaced with new ones made by dividing stem cells.
But with each division comes the risk of a dangerous mutation that moves the stem cell one step closer to being cancerous.
The pace of turnover varies throughout the body with rapid turnover in the lining of the gut and a slower pace in the brain.
The researchers compared how often stem cells divided in 31 tissues in the body over a lifetime with the odds of a cancer in those tissues.
They concluded that two thirds of cancer types were “due to bad luck” from dividing stem cells picking up mutations that could not be prevented.
These cancer types included Glioblastoma (brain cancers), small intestine cancers and pancreatic cancers.
Cristian Tomasetti, an assistant professor of oncology and one of the researchers, said a focus on prevention would not prevent such cancers.
“If two thirds of cancer incidence across tissues is explained by random DNA mutations that occur when stem cells divide, then changing our lifestyle and habits will be a huge help in preventing certain cancers, but this may not be as effective for a variety of others.
“We should focus more resources on finding ways to detect such cancers at early, curable stages.”
The remaining third of cancer types, which are affected by lifestyle factors, viruses or a heightened family risk, include some of the most common:
Basal cell carcinoma – a type of skin cancer made more common by too much UV exposure
Lung cancer – strongly linked to smoking
Colon cancer – increased by poor diet and family risk genes
Two common types of cancer – breast and prostate – were not analyzed as the researchers could not find a consistent rate of stem cell division in those tissues.
Former BZN vocalist Anny Schilder has been diagnosed with breast cancer this summer.
After performing surgery in secret, Anny Schilder began her first chemotherapy in October, Vosound Records director Jos Lauwers confirmed.
Anny Schilder and her duo partner Jan Keizer have recently joined the label of fellow townsman Jan Smit. Jos Lauwers said: “Anny and the treating physicians are hopeful that the disease can be conquered. The singer is shocked. But I know her as a strong woman who will beat through here.
“She is rather less cheerful, but fights with his head on.”
Anny Schilder, 55, has deliberately chosen not to remain silent about her condition as Jos Lauwers said: “She wants that way for speculation and prevent.”
In September, Anny Schilder and Jan Keizer, 65, launched Unforgettable Duets which includes their new single Felicità. Due to Anny Schilder’s health condition a number of the duo’s concerts in South Africa were canceled.
An already planned Christmas tour in Romania has been also canceled.
Angelina Jolie will have more cancer-preventing surgery, after a double mastectomy last year, the actress confirmed in a recent interview.
Angelina Jolie, 38, had the procedure after discovering she was at high risk of developing breast cancer.
“I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could,” she said at the time.
Angelina Jolie will have more cancer-preventing surgery, after a double mastectomy last year
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Angelina Jolie said she is “very happy” with her decision to have the operation.
“There’s still another surgery to have, which I haven’t yet. I’ll get advice from all these wonderful people who I’ve been talking to, to get through that next stage,” she said.
“I was very fortunate to have great doctors and very, very fortunate to have a good recovery and have a project like Unbroken to have something to be really focused on, to be getting healthy for, and to be able to just get right back to work.”
Angelina Jolie has previously explained her reasons for having the surgery, arguing she needed to minimize her risk after her mother died from ovarian cancer aged 56.
Doctors estimated Angelina Jolie had an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer, because of genes she had inherited.
In a recent interview, Angelina Jolie has revealed she was “very moved” by the support and personal stories fans have shared with her since she underwent a double mastectomy last year.
Angelina Jolie, 38, shocked the world by declaring she had undergone preventative cancer surgery in a New York Times article which was published last May.
Now she reveals the news of her double mastectomy inspired fans to talk candidly with her about their own personal experiences with the deadly disease.
Angelina Jolie has revealed she was “very moved” by the support and personal stories fans have shared with her since she underwent a double mastectomy last year
Angelina Jolie told Entertainment Weekly: “Wherever I go, usually I run into women and we talk about health issues, women’s issues, breast cancer, ovarian cancer. I’ve talked to men about their daughters’ and wives’ health.
“It makes me feel closer to other people who deal with the same things and have either lost their parents or are considering surgeries or wondering about their children. I was very, very moved by all the support and kindness from so many people.”
The world is facing a “tidal wave” of cancer, and restrictions on alcohol and sugar need to be considered, say World Health Organization (WHO) scientists.
It predicts the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035, but half could be prevented.
The WHO said there was now a “real need” to focus on cancer prevention by tackling smoking, obesity and drinking.
The World Cancer Research Fund said there was an “alarming” level of naivety about diet’s role in cancer.
Fourteen million people a year are diagnosed with cancer, but that is predicted to increase to 19 million by 2025, 22 million by 2030 and 24 million by 2035.
The world is facing a “tidal wave” of cancer, and restrictions on alcohol and sugar need to be considered
The developing world will bear the brunt of the extra cases.
The WHO’s World Cancer Report 2014 said the major sources of preventable cancer included:
Obesity and inactivity
Radiation, both from the sun and medical scans
Air pollution and other environmental factors
Delayed parenthood, having fewer children and not breastfeeding
For most countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, cervical cancer dominates in large parts of Africa.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause. It is thought wider use of the HPV and other vaccines could prevent hundreds of thousands of cancers.
One of the report’s editors, Dr. Bernard Stewart from the University of New South Wales in Australia, said prevention had a “crucial role in combating the tidal wave of cancer which we see coming across the world”.
Dr. Bernard Stewart said human behaviour was behind many cancers such as the sunbathe “until you’re cooked evenly on both sides” approach in his native Australia.
Good Morning America‘s correspondent Amy Robach has revealed she will have a double mastectomy this week, a month after undergoing a mammogram on the show.
Amy Robach, 40, discovered she had breast cancer after reluctantly agreeing to have a screening filmed for the ABC show.
She said GMA anchor Robin Roberts had persuaded her that if the story saved one life, it would be worth it.
“It never occurred to me that life would be mine,” said Amy Robach.
Producers chose Amy Robach to cover the mammogram story because it is recommended that women at the age of 40 regularly check for breast cancer.
During Monday’s programme, and in a blog post following the show, Amy Robach said doctors had not yet determined what stage the cancer had progressed to, or whether it had spread.
The original story, which was part of the GMAGoes Pink breast cancer awareness day, featured Amy Robach emerging from her on-air mammogram, before telling colleagues that it hurt much less than she thought it would.
Amy Robach has revealed she will have a double mastectomy this week, a month after undergoing a mammogram on the show
A few weeks later she was told she had cancer, after returning for what she thought would be some follow-up images.
Amy Robach said that her husband, actor Andrew Shue, had returned from his work trip that night and her parents had also caught a flight to New York to join her.
“We started gearing up for a fight,” she said, as she revealed that she would have both breasts removed this Thursday, followed by reconstructive surgery.
Amy Robach joined ABC in 2012 from NBC, where she was a Weekend Today host.
She frequently filled in as a presenter on ABC’s top-rated morning show GMA, while host Robin Roberts was fighting a serious blood and bone marrow disease.
Amy Robach said that with a full-time job and two children she had always found reasons to put off having a mammogram herself.
However, a doctor told her that the test had saved her life.
“I can only hope my story will inspire every woman who hears it to get a mammogram, to take a self-exam,” said Amy Robach.
“No excuses. It is the difference between life and death.”
A new study has suggested that post-menopausal women who walk for an hour a day can cut their chance of breast cancer significantly.
The report, which followed more than 73,000 women for 17 years, found walking for at least seven hours a week lowered the risk of the disease.
The American Cancer Society team said this was the first time reduced risk was specifically linked to walking.
This study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention followed 73,615 women out of 97,785 aged 50-74 who had been recruited by the American Cancer Society between 1992 and 1993 so it could monitor the incidence of cancer in the group.
They were asked to complete questionnaires on their health and on how much time they were active and participating in activities such as walking, swimming and aerobics and how much time they spent sitting watching television or reading.
Post-menopausal women who walk for an hour a day can cut their chance of breast cancer significantly
They completed the same questionnaires at two-year intervals between 1997 and 2009.
Of the women, 47% said walking was their only recreational activity.
Those who walked for at least seven hours per week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer compared to those who walked three or fewer hours per week.
Dr. Alpa Patel, a senior epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta Georgia, who led the study, said: “Given that more than 60% of women report some daily walking, promoting walking as a healthy leisure-time activity could be an effective strategy for increasing physical activity amongst post-menopausal women.
“We were pleased to find that without any other recreational activity, just walking one hour a day was associated with a lower risk of breast cancer in these women.
“More strenuous and longer activities lowered the risk even more.”
Angelina Jolie opted to miss her aunt’s funeral so she could jet to the UK to support Brad Pitt at the premiere of his new movie World War Z, making her first appearance on the red carpet since revealing double mastectomy.
Angelina Jolie, 37, kept to her promise and was one of the big names who walked the special black carpet at the event.
The actress opted to co-ordinate with her man as they both arrived to rapturous claps and screams, both wearing matching black.
Angelina Jolie wore a floorlength Yves St Laurent dress, while Brad Pitt looked dapper in a suit with a casual T-shirt underneath.
Just a few days ago it was revealed Angelina Jolie had chosen to miss her aunt’s funeral as it clashed with the premiere.
Angelina Jolie – who recently revealed she underwent a double mastectomy after she was identified as carrying the BRCA1 cancer gene – lost her aunt Debbie Martin, 61, last week following a battle with breast cancer. The actress said she cannot make the funeral in San Diego on Sunday June 2 because she will be in London.
Debbie Martin’s husband Ron told E! News ahead of the premiere: “We are making the final arrangements for the funeral as we speak. But we expect it to be this Sunday at noon at El Camino Memorial in Sorrento Valley near our home.
“Angelina will be in London on Sunday so she won’t be able to attend but she has been in touch with us and with various other members of the family, which has obviously been lovely and has meant a lot to us.”
And it seems Angelina Jolie is now fighting fit after making the difficult decision to undergo the operation.
Angelina Jolie makes her first appearance on the red carpet since revealing double mastectomy at Brad Pitt’s London premiere of World War Z
Angelina Jolie, who oozed confidence at the bash, said she was “feeling great” as she walked the black carpet with Brad Pitt.
“I’m here for Brad. I’m so proud of him,” she said.
The actress said she was “proud” of the response to her article about cancer preventative surgery.
“If it did some good then I’m pleased,” Angelina Jolie said as she walked into the Empire cinema wearing a floor length Yves. St Laurent black silk gown.
The actress spent twenty minutes signing autographs. She joked: “I’m a director,” as she took cameras from fans and took their photographs and video shots.
One fan handed her a fluffy teddy and later she gave it to Sophie Martinez, aged 4, who promptly burst into tears.
“It’s a nice teddy,” Angelina Jolie told her soothingly.
Sophie Martinez’s parents Douglas and Tatiana, Brazilian students living in Putney, said they were so touched by Angelina Jolie’s gesture towards their daughter.
Jessica Chastain, however, skipped the carpet to attend the film. She and Brad Pitt were in The Tree of Life together.
Brad Pitt told BBC News as he spoke ahead of the screening: “I think it’s pretty much the most intense film you’re going to see all summer.”
The night before, on Saturday, Brad Pitt made an impromptu visit to the first preview screening of World War Z in one of the Empire’s smaller screening auditoriums.
He told the audience: “This has been a long time coming.”
Brad Pitt was clearly referring to the film’s problematic production with costs rumored to be in the two hundred million dollar plus range.
He added: “I’m willing to bet that this is the most intense film you’ve seen all summer.”
Ann Curry reportedly failed to land the first interview with Angelina Jolie since the actress made headlines by announcing her voluntary double mastectomy.
NBC executives had been pressuring Ann Curry, 56, to secure the interview with Angelina Jolie, who Curry has interviewed in the past along with the actress’ partner Brad Pitt.
Angelina Jolie, 37, announced May 14 in an opinion piece in The New York Times that she had undergone a preventative double mastectomy after learning she had the faulty BRCA1 gene that gave her an 87% chance of breast cancer.
Ann Curry and Angelina Jolie reportedly have grown a close friendship as a result of their interviews over the years and the NBC brass was hoping to score an exclusive.
Angelina Jolie turned down Ann Curry as well as all other news outlets for the time being, according to the New York Post.
Ann Curry was fired from NBC’s Today show last year and Angelina Jolie made it clear that she wouldn’t consent to an interview with anyone at NBC except for Curry, who is now a correspondent for the network.
Ann Curry failed to land the first interview with Angelina Jolie since she made headlines by announcing her voluntary double mastectomy
The NBC executives wanted Ann Curry to set up a two-hour primetime special with Angelina Jolie with parts airing on the Today show.
Ann Curry returned to live TV on Wednesday night for the first time since being axed from the Today show.
She filled in for anchor Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News and showed off a new short hairdo.
Ann Curry’s shorter hair previously got her in trouble with her NBC bosses because she didn’t notify management that she was changing her appearance and it was viewed as an act of defiance.
Angelina Jolie made her stunning revelation in an op-ed piece titled My Medical Choice.
The actress outlined her reasons for getting the double mastectomy upon learning of her elevated risks for breast and ovarian cancers.
Angelina Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died at age 56 of ovarian cancer in 2007.
The actress said with her double mastectomy she can tell her six children that they won’t lose her to breast cancer.
Angelina Jolie also said she plans to have her ovaries removed to reduce her risk of ovarian cancer.
Angelina Jolie will play her own mother in a biopic of the late actress Marcheline Bertrand, who died from ovarian cancer in 2007.
Angelina Jolie, 37, who last week revealed she had undergone a voluntary double mastectomy, will star in the film produced by Plan B, the production company set up by devoted partner Brad Pitt.
Like her daughter, Marcheline Bertrand devoted herself to humanitarian causes, including helping women Afghan refugees and launching the Give Love Give Life organization to help fight gynaecological cancers.
When Marcheline Bertrand died from ovarian cancer aged just 56, it came as a huge loss to the talented actress, who has much in common with her mother.
But just a few years later, those similarities took on a more sinister tone when Angelina discovered she had inherited the faulty BRCA1 gene.
Doctors told the mother-of-six that she had an 87% chance of developing breast cancer and a 50% chance of ovarian cancer as a result of the gene.
Angelina Jolie then elected to undergo a double mastectomy, a decision Brad Pitt described as “heroic”.
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 Jolie will play her own mother in a biopic of the late actress Marcheline Bertrand, who died from ovarian cancer in 2007
Angelina Jolie has announced she also now plans to have a hysterectomy and oophorectomy, where the ovaries are removed to further decrease her chances of developing cancer.
She said: “I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer was higher than my risk of ovarian cancer and the surgery is much more complex.”
The procedure would rule out any further children for her and 49-year-old Brad Pitt. They already have three biological children: daughter Shiloh and four-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.
They are also parents to their adopted children Maddox, 11, Pax, 9 and 8-year-old Zahara.
Marcheline Bertrand, who was raised in Illinois by a French-Canadian father, married Midnight Cowboy star Jon Voight when she was a 21-year-old actress.
After the births of son James in 1973 and Angelina in 1975, she quit her acting career.
However, she and Jon Voight split in 1976 due to his infidelity.
Angelina Jolie grew up to be a wild teenager, and her mother was no disciplinarian, permitting the 14-year-old Angelina to bring her boyfriend to live in their home.
Marcheline Bertrand was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1999, the same year as Angelina Jolie’s Hollywood breakthrough in the film Girl, Interrupted.
Marcheline Bertrand’s final wishes were said to be that Angelina Jolie would marry Brad Pitt, and she chose the name Pax, which Angelina gave to the Cambodian boy she adopted six weeks after her mother’s death.
Marcheline Bertrand is also remembered in the middle name of her granddaughter Vivienne.
Writing in the New York Times last week, Angelina Jolie paid an emotional tribute to her mother.
She wrote: “My mother fought cancer and died at 56.
“She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms.
“But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.”
Jane Pitt has paid tribute to her soon to be daughter-in-law Angelina Jolie for her brave decision of having a preventive double mastectomy, even though there have long been rumors that relations between herself and Angelina are strained.
In a touching statement, Jane Pitt said she is “proud” of Angelina Jolie, 37, for having the surgery in order to ensure she is alive to watch her children grow up.
Angelina Jolie with her fiancé Brad Pitt and his mother Jane and father William at the Oscars in 2012
“We’re so very proud of Angie, this means so much to out family especially our grandchildren,” said Brad Pitt’s mother in a statement to People magazine.
“We love her dearly.”
Between early February and late April Angelina Jolie completed three months of surgical procedures to remove both breasts after being advised she was at a high risk of developing breast cancer.
Having watched her mother die at the age of 56 from ovarian cancer, ten years after developing the disease, Angelina Jolie was determined to ensure she had the best chance of avoiding the same fate.
Her brother James Haven also made a statement paying tribute to Angelina Jolie.
“My sister like our mother always put her children first,” he said.
Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie’s father, revealed he learned about her preventive double mastectomy on the internet along with the rest of the world.
Jon Voight, 74, who reconciled with Angelina Jolie after a 10 year feud in 2011 praised his “extraordinary” daughter but was understandably surprised – especially as he had seen Angelina just one day before her announcement in the New York Times.
“My love and admiration for my daughter can’t be explained in words,” the actor told the New York Daily News.
“I saw her two days ago with my son Jamie. We all got together for his birthday, with her and Brad [Pitt]. But I didn’t know. It wasn’t obvious at all.
“I found out [Tuesday] morning. I was as surprised as anyone and deeply moved by the way she’s handled this. She’s a very extraordinary person, the way she examined it and what she shared.”
Angelina Jolie made the decision to have the surgery after learning she is a carrier of the BRCA1 gene and had an 87% chance of contracting breast cancer and a 50% risk of getting ovarian cancer.
She continued working throughout three months of procedures and kept them a secret from everyone other than her fiancé Brad Pitt, who was seen leaving a Hollywood studio on Tuesday, and their six children.
Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie’s father, revealed he learned about her preventive double mastectomy on the internet along with the rest of the world
Jon Voight says he “absolutely” respects Angelina Jolie’s choice to keep her decision from him for that time.
“I completely understand,” the actor explained.
“I want the focus to be on the inspiration.”
Jon Voight revealed he spoke to Angelina Jolie on Tuesday and she talked him through what it all means.
“She just explained to me and educated me on this stuff,” he said.
Jon Voight fell out with Angelina Jolie in 2002 when he accused her of having “serious mental problems”, while Angelina criticized him for having an affair behind her mother’s back.
It was Angelina Jolie’s fiancé Brad Pitt who eventually engineered their reconciliation and acted as a go-between.
Speaking in October 2011 Jon Voight claimed he’d had an emotional epiphany and that he began living for his family after everything changed “in a moment”.
“I suddenly saw things differently and everything shifted. That one moment changed my whole life,” he said.
“It gave me back my daughter and my family. Being reunited with my Angie is very precious to me. I adore my grandchildren, they are my great love. It makes me so emotional and grateful.”