Angelina Jolie’s not the first to make a drastic choice as cancer looms

Jolie surprised the world earlier this week with the announcement that she had undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer, a decision that Los Angeles Times writer Anna Gorman is all too familiar with.

Fear of cancer is a horrible thing. It stays with you all day long, and it wakes you up at night.

I didn’t want to live with that, especially when I knew I could do something about it.

Like Angelina Jolie, I have a genetic mutation that increased my odds of getting breast cancer to nearly 90%. Also like Jolie, I chose to get my healthy breasts removed to reduce that risk to less than 5%.

Nearly five years after her surgery, Gorman is doing absolutely fine, her scars have faded and she’s glad that Jolie is bringing the tragic genetic condition that prompted both of their decisions to the forefront of the national conversation on cancer.

Read Gorman’s emotional story in full, as a part of our Column One series.

Photos: Anne Cusak / Los Angeles Times

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