Two years ago Angelina Jolie underwent a double mastectomy in hopes of cutting her cancer risk. Recently Jolie had surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes for the same reason. On Tuesday, she wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times discussing her surgery and why she went through with it.
"I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt," she wrote. "I told myself to stay calm, to be strong, and that I had no reason to think I wouldn't live to see my children grow up and to meet my grandchildren."
Jolie, 39, carried a mutation of the BRCA1 gene, which increases her risk developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. She has a family history of which she has lost her grandmother, aunt and mother.
Further tests came back negative for tumors, Jolie wrote. "There was still a chance of early stage cancer, but that was minor compared with a full-blown tumor. To my relief, I still had the option of removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes and I chose to do it."
Although Jolie’s recent surgery was not as complex as the mastectomy surgery, she said its effects are more sever including forced menopause – she must now take estrogen and progesterone to keep a hormonal balance. She will not be able to bare more children and said that she foresees physical changes. However, Angelina Jolie recognizes her blessings in already having a family unlike some women who face this tough decision.
"It is not possible to remove all risk, and the fact is I remain prone to cancer," she said. "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.'"
WRITTEN BY: VIOLA CONSTANCE | @Voila_its_Viola