Angelina Jolie had her ovaries removed

By Kirstin Buick
24 March 2015

Two years after she elected to undergo a double mastectomy, Angelina Jolie has revealed she also had preventative surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.

In an article entitled Angelina Jolie Pitt: Diary of a Surgery for the New York Times, the actress, who carries a mutation in the BRAC1 gene that means she has a 50% risk of developing ovarian cancer, explains the decision was a tough call to make. “It is not easy to make these decisions,” she said. “But it is possible to take control and tackle head-on any health issue.”
'My children will never have to say, "Mom died of ovarian cancer".'

She had thought she had plenty of time to make up her mind about the "severe" surgery, until a call from her doctor forced her hand.

“Your CA-125 is normal,” he phoned to tell her two weeks ago, and the UN envoy "breathed a sigh of relief".

"That test measures the amount of the protein CA-125 in the blood, and is used to monitor ovarian cancer," she explains. "I have it every year because of my family history."

But he had some cause for concern. “There are a number of inflammatory markers that are elevated," he told her "Taken together they could be a sign of early cancer.”

She made an appointment with a surgeon, the same doctor who treated her mother, to check her ovaries. She also phoned husband Brad in France, who "was on a plane within hours".

Tests on her ovaries came back clear. "I was full of happiness," she writes. "To my relief, I still had the option of removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes and I chose to do it."

She had the procedure, a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, last week. Since the operation brings on early menopause, she is currently taking hormone replacements.

"It is not possible to remove all risk, and the fact is I remain prone to cancer," she says."I will look for natural ways to strengthen my immune system."

"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.”


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