Angelina Jolie took action to ensure she will be there to watch her six children grow up. After blood test results showed markers that could be a sign of early ovarian cancer, the actress underwent surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.
The By The Sea star explained her decision and experience in an op-ed piece for The New York Times. “I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt," she wrote. "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."
After receiving the unfortunate results of her blood test, the 39-year-old informed her husband Brad Pitt. "I called my husband in France, who was on a plane within hours,” Angelina explained. “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.”
The actress said waiting five days for the follow-up test results passed in a “haze.” She attended her children's soccer game and is "working to stay calm and focused.”
Jolie has ovaries removed
Luckily for Angelina, the tumor test returned negative. "There was still a chance of early stage cancer, but that was minor compared with a full-blown tumor,” she wrote. “To my relief, I still had the option of removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes and I chose to do it."
After removing her ovaries and fallopian tubes, Angelina has now entered menopause. "I will not be able to have any more children, and I expect some physical changes,” she said. “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.”
The Unbroken director, who carries the BRCA1 gene mutation, underwent a double mastectomy two years ago to prevent her risk of developing cancer. Her mother Marcheline Bertrand passed away from ovarian cancer in 2007.
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