In what may be considered to be the most painful decision a woman could make in her lifetime, Angelina Jolie revealed that she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed so as to prevent a another cancer scare in her family.
On Tuesday, March 24, Angelina Jolie released an article for The New York Times. She recalled of her having a preventive double mastectomy two years ago after finding out from a blood test that she has a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. In addition to the fact that her grandmother, aunt and mother all died from cancer, this gave her an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer.
And now to prevent other possibilities of having cancer, Jolie reveals that she also had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in a procedure called laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy last week. As a result of this, though, Jolie is put into a forced menopause and is expecting some physical changes in result of the procedure, despite her taking hormone replacements.
Back then, with her mind on the idea of possibly not seeing her six children (three of which adopted) grow up and seeing her future grandchildren, she decided to have the procedure. During this time, her husband Brad Pitt was in France. But upon getting a call from her about her decision of having her reproductive organs removed, he immediately got on a plane home to support her.
Jolie hopes that her decision will be able to enlighten women who are also at a high risk of cancer, as well as encourage women who also went through the same procedure. She hopes that like her, they will also be calm and strong.
Upon the release of Jolie’s article, medical specialists praised and supported her decision to publicly reveal her story. This is because she was able to spread awareness about the many risks of cancer, particularly breast and ovarian cancer among women.
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Photo source: Wikimedia Commons/Alex Villarreal