updated 05/14/2013 AT 7:00 AM ET
•originally published 05/14/2013 AT 2:00 AM ET
Angelina Jolie has revealed she underwent a double mastectomy after genetic tests showed she had a high risk of developing breast cancer.
The 37-year-old actress had the surgery in February and completed the last of the follow-up procedures in April, she says in a New York Times op-ed piece called “My Medical Choice.”
“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy,” says Jolie in the column appearing Tuesday. “But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”
Jolie, who has six children with Brad Pitt, says the actor was at her side every step of the way.
“I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive,” she writes. “So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition.”