I felt compelled to write about the following topic once I realized that many of my Woman Warriors were still in the dark about the recent open and honest admission by the actress in the face of a very difficult decision.
Angelina Jolie’s decision to go public with the news that she removed her ovaries and fallopian tubes as a means of further preventative surgery was a bold and courageous act. It was a very brave move and one that will probably save the lives of many women to come.
The 39-year-old actress and mother of six had a new surgery recently to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, two years after she had a double mastectomy after discovering she has the BRCA1 gene. Breast and ovarian cancer are more prevalent among women with the harmful BRCA1 mutation.
Two weeks ago (March 24, 2015), the star published an opinion piece, titled Angelina Jolie Pitt: Diary Of A Surgery in the New York Times. In it she confessed the decision to have surgery came after doctors discovered she tested positive for the early signs of ovarian cancer; The same cancer that claimed the life of her mother in 2007.
Jolie’s decision to go public regarding her surgery is in hopes of raising awareness and saving lives. In addition to her mother, the Maleficent star lost her aunt, grandmother and great grandmother to cancer.
While the actress notes that it is a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, its effects are more severe. The actress revealed, “It puts a woman into forced menopause. So I was readying myself physically and emotionally, discussing options with doctors, researching alternative medicine, and mapping my hormones for estrogen or progesterone replacement.”
She further explains she chose to have the surgery based on her personal decision and past family medical history. She urges women to learn their options, seek advice and make the decision that is right for them. Surgery shouldn’t be considered the first and only option. Every woman should access what’s best for their body, as well as the risks and complications involved.
Thank you Angelina for showing there is nothing de-feminizing about having your breasts and/or ovaries removed, in order to save your health and possibly your life. Ultimately it was about what was doing what was best for you and the ones you love. Bravo!