The same mutated gene that increased Angelina Jolie’s risk for breast cancer also increased her risk for ovarian cancer and it is being reported Jolie is planning to undergo surgery to remove her ovaries.
Angelina Jolie announced she had a preventive double mastectomy to reduce the risk of breast cancer in an op-ed for the New York Times. Jolie announced she had surgery as a preventive measure because she had the ‘faulty’ BCRA1 gene, which dramatically increases her risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of breast cancer at the age of 56.
In the NYT op-ed Jolie wrote, “My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.” The preventive double mastectomy reduced the 37-year-old actress’ risk of breast cancer to under 5 percent, and People is reporting that Jolie will undergo a similar preventive procedure to remove her ovaries.
Sources close to Jolie tell People the actress will have the surgery, called oophorectomy, to reduce her risk of ovarian cancer. Doctors recommend having the surgery before the age of 40. The sources have said that Jolie has had no complications from the double mastectomy and she, along with her fiancé, Brad Pitt, has continued to live a normal life while keeping up family traditions for their six children.
Jolie said Pitt was “at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries.” Pitt said to the London Evening Standard, “Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie’s choice, as well as so many others like her, absolutely heroic.”
Jolie said she wanted to discuss the double mastectomy and her faulty BCRA1 gene as a way to empower women. Jolie wrote in the NYT op-ed, “I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.”