herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Angelina Jolie has undergone preventive surgery to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, just two years after having a double mastectomy.

Angelina Jolie has undergone preventive surgery to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, just two years after having a double mastectomy.

Writing in the New York Times, Jolie said she chose to have the surgery as she carries a gene that gave her a 50pc 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."

procedure

In the article, titled Angelina Jolie Pitt: Diary of a Surgery, she wrote 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.

She elected to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after a check-up which put her in the clear from showing the early stages of ovarian cancer, but showed she remains at risk of developing the disease which also killed her grandmother and aunt.

"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."

Jolie, who is married to actor Brad Pitt, has six children, three of whom are adopted.

"Regardless of the hormone replacements I'm taking, I am now in menopause. I will not be able to have any more children, and I expect some physical changes.

"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.

"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'."

hnews@herald.ie

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