Earlier this week, actress Angelina Jolie announced she underwent a double mastectomy after learning she carries a gene that gave her an 89 percent chance of developing breast cancer.
Now Jolie says she will also undergo more surgery, this time to remove her ovaries. Doctors warn the two cancers go hand-in-hand and are caused by the same rogue gene.
Consequently, 70 percent of women who have a preventive mastectomy also opt to remove their ovaries to reduce their cancer risk.
Unfortunately, the cost of such procedures disallow many women to take similar preventive measures.
Nevertheless, well wishers say Jolie's bravery and willingness to share her story has inspired many women to think differently about breast cancer.
She's "sending a message to millions of women around the world: It's about taking control of your life and making decisions for yourself," said Howard Bragman, vice chairman of Reputation.com.
Breast cancer survivor Sheryl Crow tweeted, "Ladies, please check out Angelina Jolie's story today, especially if you have breast cancer in your family history. I commend Angelina Jolie for her courage and thoughtfulness in sharing her story today regarding her mastectomy. So brave!"
And Jaclyn Smith, who talked about her stage 1 breast cancer 10 years ago said, "All the power to her...People listen to her. It can spread light. It takes fear away from other people. Her breasts aren't what she's about, by any means."