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Angelina Jolie Loses Aunt to Breast Cancer View Count: 38

On Sunday, Debbie Martin, Angelina Jolie’s aunt, died at the age of 61 at San Diego. Martin was the younger sister of Jolie’s mother and died due to the same type of breast cancer that killed Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, at the age of 56 in 2007. Both women suffered from the same defective BRCA1 gene that Jolie has been diagnosed with.

Jolie had a double mastectomy done in February after it was confirmed that she was carrying the BRCA1 gene and had an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer. She also has a chance of developing ovarian cancer, but the risk percentage is lesser than that for the cancer affecting the breasts.

Ron Martin, the husband of Debbie told E! News, “Angelina has been in touch throughout the week and her brother Jamie has been with us, giving his support day by day.”

Referring to the double mastectomy that Jolie underwent, Mr. Martin said, “Had we known, we certainly would have done exactly what Angelina did.”

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Angelina Jolie, the 37-year-old actress told the New York Times on 14th May that she had undergone removal of her breasts in a complex operation. At the time she explained to the media, “I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could.”

According to her doctors, her chances of developing breast cancer have now dropped to 5 percent from 87 percent.

While the BRCA1 gene is present in every human being, it mutates into the defective form in about one in a thousand people. Anyone who has a defective BRCA1 gene has a 50-80 percent chance of developing breast cancer.

Angelina has also announced that later in her life she is also going to have her ovaries removed to decrease chances of developing ovarian cancer. She said that she started with her breasts because that operation was much more complex.

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