In a NY Times op-ed piece called ‘Angelina Jolie Pitt: Diary of a Surgery’, Angelina Jolie has revealed that she has removed her ovaries and Fallopian tubes following a cancer scare.
The 39-year-old actress and director wrote that she decided to have the surgery now after receiving a call from her doctor that her blood-test results showed something that could have been the sign of early cancer. Luckily, further tests came back with the all clear, but Angelina Jolie decided to go ahead with the surgery.
Two years ago she had a preventive double mastectomy and the next preventive surgery on the list was the removal of her ovaries and Fallopian tubes. She will no longer be able to have any biological children.
I chose to keep my uterus because cancer in that location is not part of my family history. It is not possible to remove all risk, and the fact is I remain prone to cancer. 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.’
Regardless of the hormone replacements I’m taking, I am now in menopause. I will not be able to have any more children, and I expect some physical changes. But I feel at ease with whatever will come, not because I am strong but because this is a part of life. It is nothing to be feared.
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.
You can read the full, inspiring op-ed now at NYTimes.com!
Photo Credit: Getty Images/C Flanigan