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June 04, 2013


Sarah Kehoe

A Preventive Mastectomy at 31

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When actress Angelina Jolie told the world she’d elected to have a preventive double mastectomy, people paid attention. For Nell Boeschenstein, the story was personal.

“You know when you have your breasts taken off, your insecurities can kind of take over. To have the most womanly-woman in the world come out and say that was just hugely moving," Nell says. 

Like Angelina Jolie, Nell carries the BRCA-1 gene, significantly increasing her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. After her aunt and sister developed breast cancer, Nell had a preventive double mastectomy at 31 years old. 

Read Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed, "My Medical Choice." 

Read Nell Boeschenstein's essay, "Now That Books Mean Nothing."

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