Angelina Jolie is no stranger to the spotlight

She's been an A-list movie star for nearly two decades. She's married to Brad Pitt, arguably the most famous actor of his generation. She's graced the cover of every magazine. When she speaks, people listen. So her Op-Ed in today's New York Times obviously got people talking. Jolie underwent a prophylactic mastectomy after finding that she is a carrier of an alteration in the BRCA1 gene. Her mother died of breast cancer at 56, and doctors estimated that Jolie had an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer. Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex. Jolie's essay is extremely powerful and illuminating. You should read the whole piece here. For people who have a strong family history of cancer, our multi-specialty team at the University of Arizona Cancer Center can assess cancer risk, determine if genetic testing is appropriate, interpret testing results, and counsel regarding the options for cancer risk management. The UACC is the only cancer care facility in Tucson with certified genetic counselors.