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Debbie Martin, Angelina Jolie’s aunt, has died of breast cancer, nearly two weeks after the Hollywood star said she had had a double mastectomy to avoid such a fate.
Debbie Martin passed away at the Palomar Medical Centre in Escondido on Sunday, aged 61, the hospital said.
She was the sister of Angelina Jolie’s mother Marcheline Bertrand, who died of breast cancer in 2007 at the age of 56.
Her husband, Ron Martin, said the sisters had both had the same mutated BRCA1 gene, which Angelina Jolie inherited.
Debbie Martin, Angelina Jolie’s aunt, has died of breast cancer, nearly two weeks after the Hollywood star said she had had a double mastectomy
“Angelina has been in touch throughout the week and her brother Jamie has been with us, giving his support day by day,” Ron Martin told E! News.
“They both loved Debbie very much and although Angie is not able to come right now she has sent her love and support which was very nice.”
Ron Martin also praised Angelina Jolie for electing to have a double mastectomy, telling the Associated Press: “Had we known, we certainly would have done exactly what Angelina did.”
On May 14, Angelina Jolie, 37, wrote in the New York Times that she had had a double mastectomy after doctors estimated she had an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer.
“I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could,” the actress explained, adding that her chances of developing breast cancer had now dropped to less than 5%.
The BRCA1 gene is present in everyone but only mutates in one in 1,000 people. Anyone with the mutation has a 50-80% chance of developing breast 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.”
New reports reveal that Angelina Jolie is now planning to have her ovaries removed, following a double mastectomy after discovering she’s a carrier of the BRCA1 gene.
Angelina Jolie, 37, made the brave decision to have three months of secret procedures after being told she had an 87% chance of contracting breast cancer.
Now, the actress is said to already be planning her next surgery – the removal of both her ovaries – as the gene means she has a 50% chance of developing ovarian cancer.
According to People magazine, Angelina Jolie is likely to have the next procedures before she turns 40, as doctors recommend having the surgery done after child-bearing age.
After the surgery, Angelina Jolie will no longer be able to have biological children, although she still has the option to adopt.
Angelina Jolie and her fiancé Brad Pitt currently have three biological children, Shiloh, 6, and 4-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, and three adopted children, Maddox, 11, Pax, nine, Zahara, 8.
The View host Barbara Walters revealed on the show on Tuesday that she had both of her ovaries removed after her sister died from ovarian cancer.
Angelina Jolie is now planning to have her ovaries removed, following a double mastectomy after discovering she’s a carrier of the BRCA1 gene
Barbara Walters explained: “It’s not like having the breasts removed because people don’t see it. But it’s a decision you have to make – it’s preventative.”
Angelina Jolie’s decision to remove her ovaries will likely be fuelled by the fact that she lost her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, to ovarian cancer at the age of 56.
Marcheline Bertrand died in January 2007 after an 8-year battle with the disease.
Prior to her passing, Marcheline Bertrand founded a charity called Give Love Give Life which spread awareness of the condition.
Angelina Jolie’s mother and her colleagues at the charity also successfully campaigned for Johanna’s Law to fund education into gynecological illnesses and got it signed into statute in the US.
Angelina Jolie revealed her decision to have the double mastectomy by writing an op-ed in the New York Times on Tuesday.
Angelina Jolie underwent a double mastectomy after learning she had an 87% chance of contracting breast cancer, but despite the stress put on her own body, her main concern was maintaining a sense of normality for her and fiancé Brad Pitt’s six children.
A source has revealed that Angelina Jolie, 37, did everything within her power to ensure the couple’s children, Maddox, 11, Pax, 9, Zahara, 8, Shiloh, 6, and 4-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, led normal lives as their mother underwent three months of secret operations.
The source told People.com: “Things have appeared normal. The kids have kept their schedules as usual. They have been in school during the day and have attended after-school activities like they always do.”
Angelina Jolie made the brave decision to have the procedure after doctors told her she was a carrier of the BRCA1 cancer gene.
The news was made all the more personal by the fact that Angelina Jolie lost her mother Marcheline Bertrand to ovarian cancer when she was just 56.
Revealing her decision to have the surgery in the New York Times, Angelina Jolie said it was the support of her six children and fiancé Brad Pitt which got her through the three months of secret procedures.
Angelina Jolie kept her family life as normal as possible for the sake of her children as she underwent a double mastectomy
In the editorial piece in the New York Times entitled My Medical Choice, Angelina Jolie wrote: “I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries.
“We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.”
Brad Pitt, 49, later released his own statement praising his “heroic Angie” following her difficult decision.
In a statement to London’s Evening Standard, Brad Pitt said: “Having witnessed this decision firsthand, 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 also revealed she is proud of her children for being so brave during her operations, which began on February 16th with the initial removal, before she had the reconstruction operation on April 20th.
The brave actress writes: “It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can.”
Following the operations, Angelina Jolie’s risk of contracting breast cancer has now dropped to under 5%.
Angelina Jolie has revealed she has had a preventative double mastectomy after doctors estimated she had an 87% chance of contracting breast cancer.
Angelina Jolie, 37, made the decision to undergo the procedure after learning that she is a carrier of the BRCA1 cancer gene.
Her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died at the age of 56 from ovarian cancer, which Angelina Jolie revealed she has a 50% chance of contracting.
Writing in an editorial piece in the New York Times, Angelina Jolie said: “My doctors estimated that I had an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.
“Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65% risk of getting it, on average.
“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 Jolie’s surgery was successful and doctors say her chances of developing breast cancer have now lowered to less than 5%.
“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy,” she wrote.
“But it is one I am very happy that I made.
“My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”
Angelina Jolie has preventative double mastectomy as she had an 87 percent chance of contracting breast cancer
Angelina Jolie praised the support her fiancé Brad Pitt and their children, Maddox, 11, Pax, 9, Zahara, 8, Shiloh, 6, and 4-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, gave her during treatment.
“It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can.
“I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries.
“We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.”
Angelina Jolie assured that having the double mastectomy hasn’t changed the way she feels about herself and her womanliness, and added that results of reconstructive surgery “can be beautiful”.
“On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman,” she said.
“I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”
In addition, Angelina Jolie hopes that she can encourage other women to be informed and consider their options.
“I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness.
“But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.”
Angelina Jolie added: “For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.
“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. It is my hope that they, too, will be will able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.
“Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of. “
February 2nd – Angelina Jolie begins three months of treatments prior to undergoing a preventative double mastectomy, starting with a “nipple delay, which rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area”.
February 16th – The actress undergoes the major surgery – an 8-hour operation which sees the breast tissue removed before temporary fillers are put in place.
April 4th – Angelina Jolie attends the Women in the World Summit in New York looking in good spirits.
April 11th – Angelina Jolie is pictured with William Hague at the G8 Summit in London.
April 20th – Angelina Jolie has her breasts reconstructed with implants
April 27th – The mother-of-six completes the medical process. She is told that the surgery was a success and her chances of contracting breast cancer have now been reduced from 87% to less than 5%
May 14th – Angelina Jolie reveals her decision in an editorial piece published in the New York Times newspaper.
WHAT IS PREVENTATIVE MASTECTOMY?
Preventive mastectomy is the surgical removal of one or both breasts. It is done to prevent or reduce the risk of breast cancer in women who are at high risk of developing the disease.
In a total mastectomy, doctors remove the entire breast and nipple, while in a subcutaneous mastectomy, the doctor removes the breast tissue but leaves the nipple intact.
Existing data suggests that the treatment may significantly reduce the chances of developing tumors by about 90%.
Many choose to have breast reconstruction to restore the shape of the breast following surgery.
Angelina Jolie is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world.
But even Angelina Jolie took time to grow into the features that have inspired admiration and envy from corners of the globe.
Her pillow lips and deep set eyes impossible to miss, the actress is not so unlike other awkward school girls in one of several newly-unearthed photos from her past.
The rebellious daughter of actor Jon Voight became a model in her teens while she was studying drama.
Angelina Jolie is not so unlike other awkward school girls in one of several newly-unearthed photos from her past
Before she started her movie career in music videos – most notably for the Rolling Stones and Meatloaf – Angie Voight, as she was then known, went through her own growing pains.
At 14, she was reportedly permitted to move in into her mother Marcheline Bertrand’s Los Angeles home with her older boyfriend, and later dropped out of acting classes at Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.
Photos of Angelina Jolie at that time show bright-eyed young girl who fancied polka dot headbands, satin dresses and wore little make-up.
Even then, however, she seemed to have perfected her trademark pout.
Staring at the camera in one rebellious photograph, Angelina Jolie appears bored in class. Her long brunette locks tumbling down her back, she already looks beyond her 14 years.
Angelina Jolie eventually returned to her theatre studies, and graduated from Beverly Hills High School.
Photos of the star – minus her trademark tattoos – show her a bit taller, but with the same wide smile and mahogany hair as she joins her classmates and friends for photos.
The images are positively demure compared to what was to come in the following years as she rose to fame: an intimate kiss with her brother James Haven, a bisexual relationship with a Calvin Klein model Jenny Shimizu, and of course wearing a vial of her then-husband Billy Bob Thorton’s blood around her neck on the red carpet.
Angelina Jolie as of late seems to have tamed her wild child ways, however.
The actress has successfully transformed herself into a box-office star and woman of the world as an actress, director, model, humanitarian and mother-of-six with partner Brad Pitt. .
Angelina Jolie, now 37, seems to have mastered how to have it all.
Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie is juggling her multiple roles as she begins filming her latest movie, Maleficient – an adaptation of Disney’s 1959 animated feature Sleeping Beauty.