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Jolie has ovaries and fallopian tubes removed

Written by  BBC World Entertainment Mar 24, 2015

Actress Angelina Jolie has had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as a preventative measure against cancer.

 

Writing in the New York Times, Jolie said she had the surgery last week as she carries a gene that gave her a 50% risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Two years ago, Jolie, whose mother died from cancer, had a double mastectomy.

"It is not easy to make these decisions," she said. "But it is possible to take control and tackle head-on any health issue."

Jolie, who is married to Hollywood actor Brad Pitt, elected to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after a check-up two weeks ago.

In the article, titled Angelina Jolie Pitt: Diary of a Surgery, she said a blood test revealed "a number" of elevated inflammatory markers that could be a sign of early cancer, and was told to see a surgeon immediately.

"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 wrote.

"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 polarizing, and it is peaceful."

Further tests revealed Jolie was free of a tumour, but elected to have her ovaries removed after consulting doctors. Her mother, grandmother and aunt all died of the disease.

"My doctors indicated I should have preventive surgery about a decade before the earliest onset of cancer in my female relatives," wrote Jolie.

"My mother's ovarian cancer was diagnosed when she was 49. I'm 39."

Writing about the procedure, saying: "It is a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, but its effects are more severe. It puts a woman into forced menopause."

Jolie, who is also a director and UN envoy, will now take hormone replacements.

"Regardless of the hormone replacements I'm taking, I am now in menopause," Jolie said.

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