Angelina Jolie revealed Tuesday (May 14) that she opted for a double mastectomy — a surgery to remove both of her breasts — after learning she carries a gene mutation that predisposes her to breast cancer. The choice for preventative mastectomy is an increasing trend as genetic testing advances.
- Sharon Osbourne revealed in Nov. 2012 that she underwent the same procedure, telling Hello magazine, “For me, it wasn’t a big decision, it was a no-brainer. I didn’t want to live the rest of my life with that shadow hanging over me.”
- Christina Applegate also underwent double mastectomy in 2008 after doctors found a cancerous lump in one of her breasts. Genetic testing revealed Applegate had the BRCA1 mutation, and she didn’t want to face recurring breast cancer, as her mother had done.
- E! News host Giuliana Rancic chose double mastectomy over radiation in 2011, after first undergoing a lumpectomy while fighting breast cancer.
- Comedian and former talk show host Wanda Sykes also opted for a double mastectomy when she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Sykes told Ellen DeGeneres at the time, “I had the choice of, you can go back every three months and get it checked. … But, I’m not good at keeping on top of stuff. I’m sure I’m overdue for an oil change and a teeth cleaning already.”
- Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates made the mastectomy decision in 2012 after doctors found a lump in her breast.
- Mastectomy is not just for women. Former talk show host Montel Williams says he underwent the same procedure following a misdiagnosis of male breast cancer at age 19. Williams told Dr. Oz recently he now suffers from emotional eating.
- A contestant in the 2012 Miss America pageant, Miss District of Columbia Allyn Rose, revealed in November she would undergo a double mastectomy after learning of her own genetic mutation.
- Record producer and former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi recently opened up to People magazine about her experience as a carrier for the BRCA2 gene mutation, telling the mag that’s why she opted to use a pregnancy surrogate. DioGuardi now says she is open to a proactive mastectomy if her doctor recommends it.