Today, in The New York Times, actress Angelina Jolie revealed that she had elected surgery to have her ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed as a preventative measure against cancer.
“A simple blood test had revealed that I carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene,” Jolie wrote in the OP-ED piece. “It gave me an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. I lost my mother, grandmother and aunt to cancer.”
The philanthropist said recent test results showing she was at a higher risk for ovarian cancer caused her to speed up her decision to have the surgery.
“I had been planning this for some time,” Jolie wrote of her ovarian excision. “It is a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, but its effects are more severe. It puts a woman into forced menopause.”
She explained the reasoning for her decision in the piece.
“Last week, I had the procedure: a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. There was a small benign tumor on one ovary, but no signs of cancer in any of the tissues,” Jolie wrote “I feel feminine, and grounded in the choices I am making for myself and my family. I know my children will never have to say, ‘Mom died of ovarian cancer.'”
A couple of years ago, in 2013, the Oscar-winning actress had a double mastectomy as a preventative measure as well based on her increased cancer risk. She wrote about that experience to in the Times as well. The awareness she raised after the piece was credited for saving the lives of many women who followed in her footsteps and got themselves checks. Some discovered conditions they may not have been aware of but for Jolie.