Angelina Jolie double mastectomy

This shocking news will be published in every newspaper and on every news bulletin around the world over the next 24 hours. This is an opportunity for language learning, as you can hear or read the story in your own language first and then see almost exactly the same vocabulary, but in English, so you can learn a lot of new words and verb phrases (here to do with the medical field) and see and understand English grammar in action. The difficult vocabulary in bold is explained in the vocabulary glossary below.   You can also practise your listening skills by listening to the mp3 of the text below.   If you are an English teacher and want a lesson plan for this article/audio, then please go here to download the free lesson plan.     Angelina Jolie has undergone an operation to have a preventative double mastectomy to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer. She has also surprisingly gone public with the news (in an article in The New York Times) to raise awareness of the disease. Tests revealed that Jolie is a carrier of the BRCA1 cancer gene, which meant that she had an 87% chance of contracting the disease. Angelina’s mother died of ovarian cancer at the age of 56, which is also caused by the same inherited gene mutation, so Jolie bravely decided to undergo the procedure for the sake of her children. The actress said that her kids often asked her if she would get the illness that killed her mother: “My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children now that they don’t need to fear that they will lose me to breast cancer.” The actress praised her fiancé, Brad Pitt for being loving, supportive and constantly at her side while she underwent 3 months of medical procedures. She also said: ‘I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity. I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer and then take action.’ It is extremely admirable that Jolie has given a worldwide platform to this sensitive and deeply personal issue which could now benefit so many women: ‘For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.’

Vocabulary Glossary

to undergo an operation
to have a medical procedure
surgery to remove one or both breasts
to go public with sth
to tell everybody some news that was a secret before
to raise awareness of sth
to help more people know about a subject
a carrier of a (usually disease linked) gene
a human that has DNA that means they are likely to get a disease
to contract a disease
to get a disease
for the sake of sb
the main reason to do sth is so that it benefits that somebody
to develop (a disease)
to get a disease
I feel empowered
I feel strong, confident and in control of my life
to be highly susceptible to sth
to have a high chance of being harmed by sth
to make your own informed choices
to make a good decision based on knowing lots of correct information


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