Angelina Jolie Pens Essay About Removing Her Ovaries After Cancer Scare

Michael Buckner/Getty Images for BFCA
Angelina Jolie attends the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. 

In an in-depth essay for the New York Times, Angelina Jolie is opening up about her decision to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after she received test results that showed she might be at risk for cancer. The decision to have the surgery comes two years after the Oscar-winning actress shared she had a preventive double mastectomy.

"I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt," she writes. "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."

"I called my husband [Brad Pitt] in France, who was on a plane within hours," she continues. "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."

Jolie, 39, had the surgery last week and reveals that with it comes a side effect, early menopause. One of the main reasons for her decision to opt for preventative measures is her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died from ovarian cancer when she was 49. In the essay, she also notes she lost an aunt and grandmother to the disease.

"I feel deeply for women for whom this moment comes very early in life, before they have had their children," she writes. "Their situation is far harder than mine. I inquired and found out that there are options for women to remove their fallopian tubes but keep their ovaries, and so retain the ability to bear children and not go into menopause. I hope they can be aware of that."

"It is not easy to make these decisions. But it is possible to take control and tackle head-on any health issue," she writes in the essay. "You can seek advice, learn about the options and make choices that are right for you. Knowledge is power."


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