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updated: 5/26/2013 9:59 PM

Angelina Jolie aunt dies of breast cancer days after op-ed

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  • Angelina Jolie's aunt Debbie Martin died Sunday at age 61 of breast cancer. Jolie recently announced she had a double mastectomy to avoid breast cancer because her mother, Marchline Bertrand, Martin's sister died of the disease in 2007.

      Angelina Jolie's aunt Debbie Martin died Sunday at age 61 of breast cancer. Jolie recently announced she had a double mastectomy to avoid breast cancer because her mother, Marchline Bertrand, Martin's sister died of the disease in 2007.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Less than two weeks after Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy to avoid breast cancer, her aunt has died from the disease.

Jolie's aunt Debbie Martin died at age 61 Sunday in a San Diego-area hospital, her husband Ron Martin tells The Associated Press.

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Debbie Martin was the younger sister of Jolie's mother Marcheline Bertrand, whose own death from cancer in 2007 inspired the surgery that Jolie described in a May 14 New York Times op-ed.

According to her husband, Debbie Martin had the same defective BRCA1 gene that Jolie does, but didn't know it until after her 2004 cancer diagnosis.

He says had his wife known in advance of her genetic risk, "she would have done exactly what Angelina did."

Martin's death was first reported by E! News.

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