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PORTLAND Angelina Jolie announced Tuesday that she decided to have a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer after she learned she carries the BRCA1 gene.

Business consultant and author Dr. Lynda Falkenstein had the same surgery as Jolie 10 years ago after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

When she heard about Jolie s announcement, she said she thought it was fabulous.

It s really a wonderful service she s done for thousands of women, she said. I couldn t be happier. I have all the respect in the world for Angelina for stepping up to the plate and doing it.

When Falkenstein was diagnosed with cancer, she decided not only to remove both of her breasts, but also her ovaries. At the time, her mother was dying of breast and ovarian cancer.

I always had a sense of not if, but when is this going to happen, she said. I looked at it as an appendix just get it out of there.

Falkenstein said it was the most important decision she ever made for herself.

I know the difference it can make. I wish I had made it sooner. Get to the doctor, get tested. Then you at least have that information, Falkenstein said.

KGW Reporter Erica Heartquist contributed to this report.

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