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Angelina Jolie's aunt dies of breast cancer

Actress Angelina Jolie arrives to meet government ministers ahead of a screening of her new film 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' at the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, on Tuesday May 29, 2012. Jolie spoke on the British Foreign Secretary's initiative on Preventing Sexual Violence In Conflict, ahead of the screening. (Dan Kitwood)

May 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Less than two weeks after actress Angelina Jolie revealed she had a double mastectomy to avoid breast cancer, her aunt has died from the disease.

Jolie's aunt, Debbie Martin, died at a hospital in Escondido at the age of 61. She was the younger sister of Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, whose own death from ovarian cancer in 2007 inspired Jolie's surgery.

Martin's husband says she had the same defective BRCA1 gene that Jolie does, but didn't know it until after her cancer diagnosis.

Jolie, 37, said in a New York Times op-ed that her doctors estimated that she had a 50 percent risk of getting ovarian cancer and an 87 percent risk of breast cancer. She had her breasts removed, and sources say she plans to also have her ovaries removed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.