Angelina Jolie revealed Tuesday that she had a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer.

Jolie described why she chose to have the surgery in an op-ed on nytimes.com, and tells of her mother dying at age 56 of ovarian cancer. She also discovered she had a specific gene that increases a person's risk of developing breast cancer.

She made the decision after tests were done and says on her Facebook page:

"My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87% to under 5%

I can tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer."

It was brave of course to both announce publicly that she had had the surgery and courageous to have had the major operation in the first place.

According to an article at cnn.com:

"First of all, it's still a major procedure, and it carries all the risks of one; one should never minimize the risks of a big operation. It's also irreversible, and some women do suffer psychological or physical consequences afterward."

What are your thoughts on this preventive surgery?