Angelina Jolie says she's had a preventive double mastectomy.
In an op-ed in The New York Times Tuesday, the actress said she made the decision after learned she had an inherited genetic mutation that put her at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
The 37-year-old Jolie wrote that her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of cancer at 56, before she was able to meet most of her grandchildren and hinted that she might, at some point, have her ovaries removed.
Doctors and genetic counselors say Jolie's public revelation could save lives by increasing awareness. But they also note that the genetic mutation is very specific and Jolie's course of action makes sense for only a small category of women.
They also stress that no one solution is right for everyone who tests positive for the gene.