Breast cancer advocacy groups have prasied the actress for informing millions of women about the risks of cancer

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Angelina Jolie has been praised for telling the world about her double mastectomy.

The actress underwent surgery after being told she had an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer, due to an inherited gene mutation, BRCA1.

“Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could,” Angelina revealed in a letter to the New York Times.

“I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex."

Now breast cancer advocacy groups credit her with a surge in enquiries from women concerned about their risk.

“For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options," Angelina writes. "I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.”

It is unknown whether Angelina, 37, will undergo further surgery to reduce her risk of developing ovarian cancer.

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