Angelina Jolie Pitt Explains Her Decision To Remove Her Ovaries

Two years ago, actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie Pitt wrote a heartfelt piece about her decision to have a preventative double mastectomy.

Now, in an op-ed for The New York Times, the 39-year-old mother of six revealed that she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as well to decrease her risk of getting cancer.

Jolie Pitt bravely told an emotional story about her "estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer" because she carries the BRCA1 gene mutation. She lost her mother, grandmother, and aunt to cancer.

"It is not easy to make these decisions," she wrote. "But it is possible to take control and tackle head-on any health issue."

Ever since her surgery two years ago, she'd been seriously considering the second preventative procedure, but she was pushed into action when medical tests revealed potential signs of ovarian cancer.

She relived the nerve-racking ordeal:

Jolie Pitt had the laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy last week. To her relief, there was a small benign tumor on one ovary but no signs of cancer in any of her tissues.

Despite the hormone replacements she's taking, she's now in menopause as a result of the surgery. So, obviously, she can't have any more children, yet she feels at ease: "I feel feminine, and grounded in the choices I am making for myself and my family. l know my children will never have to say, 'Mom died of ovarian cancer,'" she wrote.

She said she made her decision public to help other women at risk understand their options. She explained:

Her ultimate message? "Knowledge is power."

You can (and really should) read the full piece here.

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