There are many differences between Angelina Jolie and myself. I have breast cancer. She does not. She has the genetic predisposition for breast cancer. I do not. She chose to have a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. I did not. I had a unilateral mastectomy. For me, I could not cut off a healthy breast, but more and more women are making the same choice as Angelina Jolie.
Young women with breast cancer are so concerned about recurrence that they choose to remove both breasts when only one or sometimes none (as with Angelina Jolie) have the disease. Several recent studies have shown that more women are opting for what is called a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, or removing the normal breast in addition to a diseased breast.