Orlando woman praises Angelina Jolie over double mastectomy surgery

Jolie reveals in New York Times column her preventative surgery

By Sheli Muniz - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - A local woman who underwent the same surgery praise actress Angelina Jolie after she reveals she got a double mastectomy.

Jolie revealed in a New York Times column that she has a gene that dramatically increased her risk for breast cancer.

With the piece, she went very public with something very private and women who have gone through the procedure say, "bravo."

It is a bold decision to go under the knife proactively to avoid breast cancer. It was a decision Jolie made after being told she had an 87 percent chance of developing cancer.

It is a choice that Anne Peach says she had to make too.

"It was a tough decision, but not as hard as people think because just like Angelina, I knew I had a very high risk of getting breast cancer so I said I want to be alive for my kids," said Peach.

At 35 years old, Peach went through genetic testing to see if she carried the harmful gene; that is because her sister had been diagnosed with it and her mother died of it.

Results showed, the chances of Peach getting breast cancer were 100 percent. So, when she heard Jolie's story, Peach praised her.

"Bravo! Good for you. I am glad you are taking care of yourself and what a great message out to other women," said Peach.

A story that hit home. Peach is now a healthy and happy 58 years old.

"Here I am today, I'm alive, I'm a grandmother, and I'm happy. So, I say to Angelina, 'Bravo. You are there. You are going to be there for your family and for your grandchildren,'" said Peach.

Many of you are probably wondering what is this genetic test? Should I get it? The American Cancer Society says the test is most often covered by insurance because of the Affordable Care Act and can cost anywhere from $300 to $3,000.

Jeffrey Feiner, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at MD Anderson in Orlando, said that the genetic test is not for everyone. It is for women who have a very high incident of breast cancer or ovarian cancer in their family.

The society also says coverage for breast reconstruction surgery is federally required in most cases, so if you are denied coverage, make sure to work with your surgeon to have that decision reversed.

"Angelina is a strong independent woman and I think she wanted to send that message to people that don't be afraid, seek medical attention if you have a family history, get checked out," Feiner said. "Everybody really has to make that decision for themselves. Certainly, you are doing a procedure on a patient who doesn't have cancer in the hopes that you are going to cut down or eliminate the risk of getting it."

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