Angelina Jolie’s surgeon has spoken out about the controversial double mastectomy the star willingly underwent to avoid developing breast cancer later in life.
After the op, Angelina Jolie’s surgeon was not part of the original op-ed the star did to disclose the decision she made and discuss why she opted to do something so drastic after learning she carried the BRCA gene and a far higher risk of falling ill as she aged.
Jolie’s surgeon is Dr. Kristi Funk of California’s Pink Lotus Breast Center, and the doc is on the September cover of Los Angeles magazine as she opens up about operating on one of the world’s biggest stars.
Funk says being Angelina Jolie’s surgeon is not something that came without consideration — not only about the procedure on the famous actress but about the impact of such a task on breast cancer treatment.
Wide exposure of the issue of how breast cancer and genetic markers are handled is one issue both Jolie and Funk considered, and Jolie’s surgeon explains that both women grappled with the surgical decision destined to have a large influence on women both inside and outside the US.
“When someone who is arguably the most beautiful woman in the world removes the part of her body that is symbolic of femininity and sexuality, you have to say, ‘Why would she do that?’ “
But, Jolie’s surgeon explains, both knew that eventually questions would be answered — proactively was ideal, specifically because the star has a lot of draw and could raise awareness:
“She knew always that in her philanthropic core she couldn’t keep this a secret and be who she is. She always knew.”
Funk said that despite Jolie’s star power, she struggled with the choice:
“She is intensely private, but she calculated the moment when she would be ready to reveal something so personal.”
When Angelina Jolie broke the news in a NYT editorial, she explained the decision Funk now discusses, saying at the time:
“I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer… It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.”
Angelina Jolie’s surgeon described the star’s actions as “indispensable,” adding that it’s “simply easier for people to listen to someone whom they adore and trust, and that’s who celebrities are.”