Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died from cancer at the age of 56.
“We often speak of ‘Mommy’s mommy’,” Jolie wrote of her mother, “and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us.””Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could.”
With her partner Brad Pitt by her side “for every minutes of the surgeries,” Jolie completed three months of mastectomy procedures at the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Beverly Hills and her risk of breast cancer has gone from 87 percent to 5 percent.
“Life comes with many challenges,” Jolie wrote. “The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”
Jolie’s inspirational letter was swiftly met with praise from Hollywood on Twitter, with endorsements from actors Elizabeth Banks, Mindy Kaling and director Adam Shankman.
Musician Sherly Crow, a breast cancer survivor, wrote on Twitter: “I commend Angelina Jolie for her courage and thoughtfulness in sharing her story today regarding her mastectomy. So brave!”
Jolie’s next film, the Disney Sleeping Beauty tale “Maleficent,” arrives in theaters on July 2, 2014.