Louisville woman talks about her decision to have double mastectomy


by Rachel Platt


Posted on May 14, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 14 at 4:40 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Angelina Jolie wrote about her decision to have double mastectomy in the New York Times.

Her mother died of cancer at 56, doctors telling Jolie she carried the BRCA gene, increasing her risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

"Life comes with many challenges, the ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of," Jolie wrote.

Angelina Jolie’s mastectomy: Should you get BRCA gene testing?

With that said, Jolie underwent a preventive double mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery.

According to her doctors, her risk has been reduced to about 5%.
Karen Morrison, the CEO of Gilda’s Club, applauds Jolie, saying her decision will do a lot to inform women about their choices.

Gilda’s Club is an outreach center for people living with cancer, as well as their families.

Morrison understands Jolie's choice, because she made the same decision 13 years ago after she became the first in her family to be tested for the gene.

Morrison was just 36-years-old when she found out she carried the BRCA1 gene.

She says she had to do whatever it took to be there for her children.

Photos: Stars that have had a double mastectomy

In addition to a preventive double mastectomy, Morrison also underwent a hysterectomy to lower her chances of ovarian cancer as well, from about 44% to 5%.

WHAS11’s Rachel Platt has the story, just click the video player above.