(CNN) -- Actress Angelina Jolie announced in a New York Times op-ed article on Tuesday that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carries a mutation of the BRCA1 gene, which doctors told her greatly increases her risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Hollywood responded with a virtual standing ovation as several celebrities hailed Jolie for her bravery in both having the surgery and sharing her story to benefit others. Her partner of many years and father of her children, Brad Pitt, released a statement in part saying "Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie's choice, as well as many others like her, absolutely heroic."
He also thanked her medical team and said, "All I want is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family."
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