Angelina Jolie recently revealed she had undergone a double mastectomy in order to greatly reduce her chances of developing cancer.
The actress carries the faulty BRCA1 gene and her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died in 2007 after battling ovarian cancer for years.
The experiences Angelina has of her mother's illness informed her decision to go through the extreme three months of surgery.
The 37-year-old is now reportedly due to star in a biopic of her mother's life, in a project funded by her partner Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company.
The choice of Angelina in the starring role seems to make a lot of sense, with the two both dedicating much of their lives to charity work.
Marcheline helped Afghan refugees and assisted in the launch of the Give Love Give Life organisation to combat gynaecological cancers.
Angelina, who's described her mother as "grace incarnate", spoke of the pain of losing her mum when she revealed the news of her mastectomy last week.
She said: “My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56.
“She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.
“We often speak of 'Mommy’s mommy', and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us.
“They have asked if the same could happen to me. I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a ‘faulty’ gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
“My doctors estimated that I had an 87 per cent risk of breast cancer and a 50 per cent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.
“Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 per cent risk of getting it, on average."
Ange decided to take a pragmatic approach to the news.
She said: “Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventative double mastectomy.
“I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.”