Breast cancer campaigner praises Jolie for going public

Wendy Watson, MBE in the new years honours list
Wendy Watson, MBE in the new years honours list

Dales breast cancer campaigner Wendy Watson has praised actress Angelina Jolie’s decision to go public with news that she has had a preventative double mastectomy as “positive”.

The 37-year-old Hollywood star revealed this week that she had undergone the operation – which involves removing both breasts – in February to reduce her risk of developing the illness.

Wendy, 57, of Over Haddon, has spent the last 20 years of her life campaigning to help sufferers of hereditary breast cancer and was the first ever woman in the UK to have double mastectomy.

Wendy said: “I think it is marvellous that someone as high profile as Angelina Jolie has come out in the open with this. It send a fantastic positive message out – especially with her husband Brad Pitt supporting her.

“It raises the profile in the best possible way and I would thank them wholeheartedly for doing so. Angelina is one of the worlds most beautiful women and has taken a very rational course of action.”

The actor has a defective gene, BRCA1, which doctors told her had increased her risk of developing breast cancer to 87 per cent. The operation now reduces her risk to 50 per cent.

Anybody affected by hereditary breast cancer is urged to call Wendy’s charity, The National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline, on 01629 813000