Angelina Jolie announced on Tuesday that she has had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed over fears of a hereditary form of cancer.
Jolie, who has lost her mother, grandmother and aunt to the same disease, said the procedure was performed last week following the results of a blood test which raised fears that she may be in the early stages of cancer.
Brad Pitt’s wife said she chose to go ahead with the surgery because of her family history and because she carries a gene mutation that had given her a 50 percent risk of developing ovarian cancer, the same mutation that put her at 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer.
“I did not do this solely because I carry the BRCA1 gene mutation, and I want other women to hear this,” Jolie wrote in an op-ed piece in The New York Times, the same way she announced her double mastectomy two years ago.
“A positive BRCA test does not mean a leap to surgery,” said the actress.
Her doctors said that she should have the preventive surgery about a decade before the earliest onset of cancer in her female relatives.
“My mother’s ovarian cancer was diagnosed when she was 49. I’m 39.”