LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Actor Brad Pitt spoke out Tuesday after his partner, Angelina Jolie, announced she underwent a preventative double mastectomy in February.

In an op-ed piece for Tuesday’s New York Times, the 37-year-old actress wrote that she made the decision after doctors told her she had an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer because she carries the BRCA1 gene.

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Her mother died of breast cancer at the age of 56.

“Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie’s choice, as well as so many others like her, absolutely heroic. I thank our medical team for their care and focus,” Pitt told the London Evening Standard. “All I want for is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family.”

Jolie, 37, explained her chance of getting breast cancer dropped to five percent after getting both breasts removed.

“I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear that they’ll lose me to breast cancer,” she said.

The actress went in for reconstructive surgery nine weeks after the procedure.

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“I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is loving and supportive…Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries,” she wrote.

Jolie explained she wanted to speak out about her situation to let women know that it may be tough, but there are options available.

“I chose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer,” she said.

Kate Morrissey told CBS2’s Amber Lee, Jolie’s message is uplifting and encouraging for other women going through the same thing.

“For someone that big, to do something so big is really impactful,” Morrissey said. ”

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