In her moving op-ed today, Angelina Jolie revealed that she had a preventive double mastectomy after learning she was at high risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Other women who might be at risk motivated the actress and activist to speak out about her private health decision. Angelina wrote: "Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people's hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action."
As Angelina's message of prevention and empowerment spreads across the Internet, she's not the only famous woman to generously share her health struggles. Christina Applegate and Wanda Sykes have discussed mastectomies. Others like Beyoncé Knowles and Nicole Kidman sacrificed some privacy to add to the conversation about miscarriages, while women like Gwyneth Paltrow and Brooke Shields have helped increase acceptance of postpartum depression. Whether about mental illness, fertility struggles, or cancer, when recognized and accomplished celebrities open up, it helps raise awareness and understanding about the health issues that impact women. Read through for quotes from some of these brave women now.