AUSTIN (KXAN) - Movie star Angelina Jolie went public Tuesday about a very private medical procedure.
In an opinion piece published in The New York Times, the actress explains her choice to undergo a preventative double mastectomy to decrease her chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
The 37-year-old says doctors estimated her risk of breast cancer to be as high as 87-percent after she underwent genetic testing. They also said she had a 50-percent risk of getting ovarian cancer, the same disease her mother died from.
As word of Angelina Jolie's surgery spreads, Austin doctor Adam Weinfeld says it is only a matter of time before more women start calling his office. He handles breast reconstruction after a woman undergoes a mastectomy.
By 1 p.m. Tuesday the surgeon had already seen a couple of patients with breast cancer, but 20-percent of women who walk through his door for breast reconstruction are just like Jolie -- trying to prevent cancer.
"They value their own life of course, but also they value their role in their family's life as well," said Weinfeld.
He believes Jolie's story will bring awareness to genetic testing as an option to determine the risk-level for cancer. The cost can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars and not all insurance plans cover it.
The cost of a mastectomy does not necessarily require a movie star budget.
"There's very few women who would have the diagnosis of the gene defect and not ultimately have it covered by insurance," said Dr. Weinfeld.
While a mastectomy does significantly reduce the risk, the procedure does not guarantee a woman will be cancer free.
"Any mastectomy is going to leave behind small portions of the breast that could onto develop breast cancer," said Dr. Weinfeld.
But as far as he is concerned, the actress's decision to go public with the procedure will only help.
"It brings more awareness to the topic."
Even though there were no reports of iced over bridges or roadways like last week, officials are urging people to use extra caution while driving.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
A 55-year-old man died in a single-vehicle crash just after midnight Monday morning near Lakeway.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
Texas will face one of the nations top offenses in their second straight trip to the Alamo Bowl
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.