As you may remember, two years ago Angelina Jolie made a public statement about her decision to have a double mastectomy. Now, two years later, Angelina was faced with another heart wrenching decision.
The 39-year-old mother of six has shared with us, her decision to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in order to decrease her risk of developing cancer again.
Due to the fact that Jolie carries the BRCA1 gene, she has an 87% risk of developing breast cancer, and a 50% risk of developing ovarian cancer. The BRCA1 gene runs in her family and she has lost both her mother and her grandmother to cancer.
She stated, “it is not easy to make these decisions”… “but it is possible to take control and tackle head-on any health issues.”
The removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes was always something she considered, however she wasn’t faced with the reality of the decision until she was told that her risk of developing ovarian cancer was so high.
“I was relieved that if it was cancer, it was most likely in the early stages. If it was somewhere else in my body, I would know in five days. I passed those five days in a haze, attending my children’s soccer game, and working to stay calm and focused.”… “The day of my results came. The PET/CT scan looked clear, and the tumor test was negative, I was full of happiness, although the radioactive tracer meant I couldn’t hug my children. To my relief, I still had the option of removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes and I chose to do it.”
The procedure Angelina had was a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
“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’,” She stated about going through menopause and having her body altered so drastically.
Angelina Jolie’s choice to make a public announcement about her decision was based on the fact that she wanted to show support and inspiration for other women and mothers going through similar situations. She also wanted to stress the fact that BRCA1 genes do not necessarily guarantee a need for surgery. Her choice to follow through with surgery was simply her choice, but there are other options, she stated.
Essentially she wanted to empower women’s decision-making and share that “knowledge is power.” Make the decision that best fits you own life.
To read the original article, visit Mind Body Green
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