Belfast Telegraph

Angelina Jolie has ovaries removed

Angelina Jolie has penned an honest account of recent surgery she underwent to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.

The Hollywood star has written a frank diary account of the recent surgery she had in a bid to prevent cancer.

Angelina is a carrier of the faulty BRCA1 gene mutation and in 2013 underwent a double mastectomy after finding out she had an 87 per cent risk of developing breast cancer and a 50 per cent risk of getting ovarian cancer.

Her own mother Marcheline Bertrand died at the age of 56 after a long battle with both breast and ovarian cancer.

"I wanted other women at risk to know about the options. I promised to follow up with any information that could be useful, including about my next preventive surgery, the removal of my ovaries and fallopian tubes," Angelina Jolie in an article titled Diary of Surgery for The New York Times.

After being told recent blood tests were normal, 39-year-old Angelina was then hit with the news that the tests had shown a number of inflammatory markers, which could be a sign of early cancer.

The mother of six was instantly soothed by husband Brad Pitt.

"I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt. 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.

"I called my husband in France, who was on a plane within hours. The beautiful thing about such moments in life is that there is so much clarity. You know what you live for and what matters. It is polarising, and it is peaceful," she recalled.

While further scans and tumour tests came back clear, Angelina had a tough few days waiting for her results.

She decided to go ahead with surgery, but reveals it wasn't only because she carries the BRCA1 gene mutation. Rather her doctors advised her on the best course of action, and she urges others to seek the best medical help possible.

"I feel deeply for women for whom this moment comes very early in life, before they have had their children. Their situation is far harder than mine. I inquired and found out that there are options for women to remove their fallopian tubes but keep their ovaries, and so retain the ability to bear children and not go into menopause. I hope they can be aware of that.

"It is not easy to make these decisions. But it is possible to take control and tackle head-on any health issue. You can seek advice, learn about the options and make choices that are right for you. Knowledge is power," she wrote.

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