angelina jolie's decision to have that double mastectomy. Dramatically decreasing her risk of breast cancer and now more surgery is ahead for her. Of course, she was inspired by her mother. Her mother... See More
angelina jolie's decision to have that double mastectomy. Dramatically decreasing her risk of breast cancer and now more surgery is ahead for her. Of course, she was inspired by her mother. Her mother was only 56 when she died of ovarian cancer, that was a major factor in angelina's decision. It was a surprise an intended to raise awareness and save lives. The timing, just two days after mother's day, perhaps a valentine to the woman jolie once called grace incarnate. After divorcing actor jon voight in 1978 marcia leiber tra transraised angelina and her brother james alone. Jolie described their loving bond in a 2011 profile in "vanity fair." My mother and brother and I were closer because there wasn't another parent. We sat up in bed at night watching tv. By the time I was older my mother was like my sister. They remained remarkably close until bertrand's death at age 56 after a ten-year battle with cancer. Jolie had become a mom herself just five years earlier. SHE TOLD cynthia McFadden her mom taught her the meaning of motherhood. She was completely full of love and kindness and it's the legacy she left. She didn't do anything other than love her children and raise them with so much care so she's tog me a lot about the importance of that. Of just being -- just everyday kindness and I think it's the most important thing about being a mom. Reporter: In "the new york times" jolie wrote of cherished yet bittersweet memories of her mother who 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 how loving and gracious she was. What she was was a fantastic mother to angelina and angelina wants to pay that forward and be a fantastic mother to her children. Reporter: Jolie says she decided on surgery after her doctors told her the brca1 gene gave her an 87% risk of breast cancer. After the surgery her risk drops to 5%, which she hopes will help her keep the role of a lifetime, that of mom. The most important thing to let them know what a joy they are for you and what a pleasure it is to be their mother. Reporter: For "good morning america," I'm juju chang in new york. I want to thank juju for that and bring in also abc's senior medical correspondent dr. Jennifer ashton to talk more about this because this is something now everyone is talking about and a lot of people are wondering who should get the brca test. In medicine before you do a test in theory you should know what you'll do with the results before you get the test and this test is absolutely not for everyone. There's a long list, however, and some important groups, number one if you've had two first degree relatives with breast cancer where one person is diagnosed at the age of 50 or younger so that's mother, sister, daughter. Second big group is three first or second degree relatives diagnosed with breast cancer at any age so then we're talking about a grandmother or an aunt and the third group ovarian cancer. If you have two or more relatives with ovarian cancer at any age or male breast cancer in the family you want to talk about it. Only if you have all three in no, only if you have one of those and there's a long list. There are more that we didn't mention but, you know, this is something you want to talk to a doctor about. It's important to note because this is an expensive test. It's $3,000. A lot of controversy and misinformation that came out yesterday about the cost. It can be as high as $3500. It can also be free and the test -- then the company who does this test has done 5,000 tests completely for free over the last three years. Should it be more than that? Absolutely, but, again, there are options available for people who can't afourd it. Angelina is 37 years old. Her age was a factor in this, correct, in terms of when you should get the test. Amy, I think we have to distinguish between a world renowned celebrity and an everyday regular woman. Everyday women face this every single day and a lot goes into that decision. It's a very individual one. All right. We thank you very much for those very important things. Switching gears now to something else burning up the
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