Angelina Jolie has ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after cancer scare

The Hollywood actress has opened up about her heartbreaking decision in a moving open letter

by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Angelina Jolie carries a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, which gave her an 87 per cent risk of breast cancer and 50 per cent risk of ovarian cancer.

Her mother, grandmother and aunt all died from the disease.

“I called my husband in France, who was on a plane within hours"

So, when she received a phone call from her doctor telling her they’d found markers that could be a sign of early cancer, the Hollywood actress was, understandably, terrified.

Writing in the New York Times, she said: “I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt.

“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.”

Thankfully, however, husband Brad Pitt proved to be a wealth of support.

She emotionally revealed: “I called my husband in France, who was on a plane within hours.

“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 polarising, and it is peaceful."

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Angelina continued: "That same day I went to see the surgeon, who had treated my mother. I last saw her the day my mother passed away, and she teared up when she saw me: 'You look just like her.' I broke down."

The Hollywood actress - who is mum to three daughters, Shiloh, Vivienne, and Zahara, as well as three sons, Pax, Maddox, and Knox - had to wait five days for the results of her medical tests.

Thankfully, they came back clear.

“I was full of happiness, although the radioactive tracer meant I couldn’t hug my children,” she said - although the actress still opted to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.

“I was full of happiness, although the radioactive tracer meant I couldn’t hug my children"

Explaining her decision, she said: “Three women in my family have died from cancer. My doctors indicated I should have preventive surgery about a decade before the earliest onset of cancer in my female relatives.

“My mother’s ovarian cancer was diagnosed when she was 49. I’m 39.”

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Angelina, who underwent a mastectomy two years ago, added: "I am now in menopause. I will not be able to have any more children, and I expect some physical changes.

"But I feel at ease with whatever will come, not because I am strong but because this is a part of life. It is nothing to be feared.

“I know my children will never have to say, 'Mom died of ovarian cancer'."

The human rights campaigner finished powerfully: “It is not easy to make these decisions. But it is possible to take control and tackle head-on any health issue.

“You can seek advice, learn about the options and make choices that are right for you.

“Knowledge is power."

Angelina Jolie with Shiloh, Zahara, Knox, and Vivienne

To find out more about breast cancer and ovarian cancer genes, please visit the NHS website now.

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