- (Photo: Reuters/Jason Tanner)
Angelina Jolie's surgeon is speaking out about the actress' decision to undergo a double mastectomy in an effort to reduce her chances of developing cancer.
The Academy Award-winning actress detailed her decision in the New York Times with an op-ed piece entitled "My Medical Choice" in May.
As a result of going public, Jolie shed light on testing for the "faulty" BRCA1 gene as well as options for reducing the risks of cancer, earning her widespread applause.
Among those praising the "Salt" star is her surgeon, Dr. Kristi Funk of the Pink Lotus Center, who sat down with Los Angeles magazine this month.
"She is intensely private, but she calculated the moment when she would be ready to reveal something to personal," said Funk, according to the magazine. "She knew always that in her philanthropic core she couldn't keep this a secret and be who she is."
The doctor added that by going public with her surgery, Jolie had a profound affect on society as well as issues concerning women's health.
"When someone who is arguably the most beautiful woman in the world removed the part of her body that is symbolic of femininity and sexuality, you have to say, 'Why would she do that,'" Funk noted.
Today- four months after revealing her double mastectomy- Jolie is grateful for the support she received following the publication of "My Medical Choice."
"I feel great, I feel wonderful, and I'm very, very grateful for all the support," the actress said during her first red carpet appearance since the surgery, according to E! News. "It's meant a lot to me. I've been very happy just to see the discussion about women's health expanded, and that means the world to me."
In "My Medical Choice," Jolie revealed intimate details about why she decided to remove both breasts, citing the death of her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died of ovarian cancer in 2007.
"I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience," penned the actress.
Jolie later added that the decision was not easy and sometimes felt like "a scene out of a science-fiction film," but that she is very happy, as it was something she did for her family. The "Tomb Raider" star shares six children; Maddox; 11, Pax; nine, Zahara; eight, Shiloh; six, and four-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, with her fiancé, Brad Pitt.
"They know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can," the actress said of her family.
Furthermore, Jolie expressed utmost confidence in the reconstructive surgery involving implants that followed her double mastectomy.
"There have been many advances in [reconstructive surgery] in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful," she penned, noting that she did not feel like "any less of a woman" having removed her natural breasts.
"I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity," she clarified.