Doctor reveals details of Jolie’s treatment

Angelina Jolie's mother had breast cancer and died of ovarian cancer,and her maternal grandmother also had ovarian cancer — strong evidence of an inherited,genetic risk that led the actress to have both of her healthy breasts removed to try to avoid the same fate,her doctor said on Wednesday.

Written by Associated Press | Published: May 18, 2013 3:45 am

Angelina Jolie’s mother had breast cancer and died of ovarian cancer,and her maternal grandmother also had ovarian cancer — strong evidence of an inherited,genetic risk that led the actress to have both of her healthy breasts removed to try to avoid the same fate,her doctor said on Wednesday.

Dr Kristi Funk treated Jolie at the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Beverly Hills and detailed her care on the center’s website.

On the surgery center’s website,Funk described Jolie’s three operations,which were done through the crease underneath each breast. Jolie’s partner,actor Brad Pitt,“was on hand to greet her as soon as she came around from the anaesthetic,as he was during each of the operations,” Funk wrote.

On February 2,Jolie had a procedure aimed at preserving the nipples,which usually are removed when a mastectomy is done to treat breast cancer. Half of the skin is lifted from the surface of the breast tissue and a small disc of tissue is taken to be checked for cancer.

The tissue proved healthy and on February 16 she had the two mastectomies. Doctors also took an unusual step: injecting dye to determine which lymph nodes in her arms were draining fluid from the breasts. Those nodes would be most likely to contain cancer if any turned out to be lurking in the breast,Funk said.

Also during this operation,doctors placed a tissue expander,a balloon-like device that is slowly inflated with saline to stretch the skin and make room for a permanent implant. Even though the implant could have been done at the time of the mastectomy,Jolie chose the two-step procedure to optimise the final cosmetic appearance.

Four days after her mastectomies,“I was pleased to find her not only in good spirits with bountiful energy,but with two walls in her house covered with freshly assembled storyboards for the next project she is directing,” Funk said.

Marilynn Marchione

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