Angelina Jolie Reveals She’s Had Her Ovaries & Fallopian Tubes Removed In Powerful NY Times Essay

[T]he Eastern and Western doctors I met agreed that surgery to remove my tubes and ovaries was the best option, because on top of the BRCA gene, three women in my family have died from cancer. My doctors indicated I should have preventive surgery about a decade before the earliest onset of cancer in my female relatives. My mother’s ovarian cancer was diagnosed when she was 49. I’m 39.

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.”

Angelina Jolie has penned a brave and powerful essay for The New York Times about her decision to get her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as a preventative measure against ovarian cancer. Jolie previously wrote about getting an elective double mastectomy in 2013 after a blood test revealed she carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, which gave her an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. Having lost her own mother to ovarian cancer, Jolie decided that these preventative surgeries were the best option in ensuring that she lives “to see my children grow up and to meet my grandchildren.” The removal of her ovaries means that Jolie is now in menopause and can have no more children. Given Jolie is known in part  for being both a sex symbol and a mother to six children (three of whom are biological), sharing her decisions to have both her breasts and her ovaries removed seems especially powerful, in that she’s continuing to maintain control of the narrative surrounding her body, as well as that body itself. “Knowledge is power.” [NY Times]