Angelina Jolie has penned an op-ed for The New York Times revealing how she voluntarily underwent surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Two years ago Jolie chronicled her preventative double mastectomy after learning she carries the BRCA1 gene, which sharply increases her chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Jolie’s mother died of ovarian cancer and she lost her aunt to breast cancer.
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In the op-ed piece published Tuesday, "Angelina Jolie Pitt: Diary of a Surgery," Jolie wrote she had planned on having the laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy surgery ever since making the decision to undergo the mastectomy, but felt compelled to do it immediately after a routine test turned up elevated inflammatory markers that could indicate the on-set of cancer.
"I had been planning this for some time. It is a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, but its effects are more severe. It puts a woman into forced menopause," she wrote. "So I was readying myself physically and emotionally, discussing options with doctors, researching alternative medicine, and mapping my hormones for estrogen or progesterone replacement. But I felt I still had months to make the date."
Jolie wrote that her husband, actor Brad Pitt, was on a plane to see her immediately after she learned she needed to have surgery.
The actress and director, 39, went on to reiterate that her decision may not be right for every woman, but after speaking to many doctors, surgeons and naturopaths, she felt good about her choice.
"The most important thing is to learn about the options and choose what is right for you personally."
Jolie chose to keep her uterus, opting out of a hysterectomy, and last week underwent surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.
"I feel feminine, and grounded in the choices I am making for myself and my family," she wrote in the Times. "I know my children will never have to say, 'Mom died of ovarian cancer.'"