Angelina Jolie has revealed that she had both her breasts removed to prevent cancer. (She had them surgically reconstructed afterwards.)

She said that doctors told her she has the BRCA1 gene, which is one of the so-called "breast cancer genes." Because of that, she had an 87% risk of getting breast cancer and a 50% chance of getting ovarian cancer. That's when she decided to have both her breasts removed.

All told she went through three months of medical procedures, which was completed on April 27th.

Jolie commented that she "does not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity."

As for why she chose to go public, Angelina said, "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 able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options."

 [NY Times]