Angelina Jolie leaves nothing to fate. After undergoing a double mastectomy two years ago to reduce her breast cancer risk, she recently revealed that she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after a complicated talk with her doctor. From her second op-ed published in the New York Times, Jolie explains that after an annual blood test, the level of protein (CA-125) which monitors ovarian cancer, was normal. Although that was not all, the doctor further explained that there were a number of markers in her blood and that if enough of them elevated, it could be an early sign of cancer.
“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.”
Jolie went that same day to see the same surgeon who treated her mother. They spoke about what options they had and what steps to take next. The surgeon proceeded to take an ultrasound and PET/CT scan of her ovaries. Days went by and Jolie was trying to stay focused on her children and her work, while in the back of her mind were thoughts of her scan results. The scan came back clear but she still had the option of removing her ovaries and fallopian tubes. In the end, that’s what she chose to do. Even though the procedure was going to kick start menopause and leave her with hormonal imbalances, she knew it was the right decision for her and her family.
Angelina Jolie has lost her mother and grandmother to cancer and would not let her children go through that. She explains, “I know my children will never have to say, ‘Mom died of ovarian cancer.””
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