Just days after Jolie pens op-ed on double mastectomy, aunt dies from breast cancer in Calif.

The Associated Press
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Angelina Jolie's aunt has died of breast cancer less than two weeks after Jolie had a double mastectomy to avoid 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.

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.