Jolie Writes of Pitt's Full Support for Mastectomy

People magazine's Larry Hackett discusses how family, career affected actress' health decision.
3:24 | 05/14/13

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Transcript for Jolie Writes of Pitt's Full Support for Mastectomy
Reporter: The oscar winning actress and globe-trotting philanthropist, angelina jolie, revealed her struggle overnight in "the new york times." "My doctors estimated I had an 87% risk of breast cancer. Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the riskch as I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastmy." Now she is trying to make sure she doesn't share the same tate as her mother who died of cancer at only 56. She was just kind to everybody and yet when it came to protecting her children or doing anything in defense of her children she was very, very strong. Reporter: Jolie underwent the medical procedure in total secrecy starting in february and just recently completing the process in april. Her partner, brad pitt, was by her side throughout. We planked 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. Jolie is now coming forward with the hope of saving lives, choosing to be an example for all women who might benefit from a similar procedure. "Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of." Let's talk to larry hackett about this. Talk about taking control of this and all about the family, because of her mother, for her children, brad by her side. It's amazing. She's always used her life, digs she makes in her life for a greater good age adopted children from different countries where they are war torn. Nothing, though, compares to this. The tone of this note to be -- so personal and intimate. Yet also much more broad about the need for the test to be available to other people. I think it's just remarkable. Has this soothing tone and goes through the procedure very carefully and talks about the scars and the kids seeing her and just an incredibly kind of, again, sort of soothing tone about it that's remarkable. Soothing but kind of shocking when we all woke up and saw it because she had been able to keep it a secret. From the celebrity machinery, the idea she kept it quiet is amazing. We cover her all the time. Married to one of the world's most famous actors, they're busy people and travel the world and number of times she had to go to the center and nothing came out. They're like the cia. And you alluded to this. The fact that she has gone public and she has talked about other women. She knows that she's very blessed and very fortunate and has resources but wants to make it about other people, as well. This is so in line with her work as an activist. Listen, what we do is tell stories with quiet people. Just talk about statistics and the causes but when you have someone share their story, no one knows it better than you, robin, it's incredibly moving and powerful. This will be a complete game changer when it comes to testing for breast cancer. The empower. As well. For everybody, for men and women, by the way, which is an important part of it and that it can happen to anybody. This is one of the world's most powerful people. Not easy to go public. Absolutely not. She's okay. We just hope this is something -- they said still maybe a 5% chance. From 87%. And points out her mother died from ovarian cancer. There may be more procedures down the road because the risks still remain there. Such a brave move. We wish her all the best. The whole family. Larry hackett from "people" magazine, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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