Two years ago, Angelina Jolie made waves when she made a decision to save her own life. Cancer is common in her family, and Jolie has the BRCA1 gene mutation that significantly increases cancer risk for both breast and ovarian cancer. Jolie’s mother died of ovarian cancer, and having seen that struggle, Angelina Jolie decided to have her breasts removed to spare herself potential cancer risk. It was an international talking point. Now, she’s making another decision and people will no doubt be wagging tongues again. Angelina Jolie had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after tests revealed she was close to the early stages of cancer.
“I did not do this solely because I carry the BRCA1 gene mutation, and I want other women to hear this. A positive BRCA test does not mean a leap to surgery. I have spoken to many doctors, surgeons and naturopaths. There are other options. Some women take birth control pills or rely on alternative medicines combined with frequent checks. There is more than one way to deal with any health issue. The most important thing is to learn about the options and choose what is right for you personally.” reads Jolie’s op-ed in the New York Times, which is recommended reading. She added, “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.”
My grandmother went through breast cancer and my mother is at risk. If any woman can keep themselves from the suffering and pain of cancer treatments by having surgery when doctors indicate it’s time, well… that’s a great choice, and I fully support any woman who makes that choice. Little children deserve to have a mother to grow up with, and Jolie’s adorable kids are no exception.
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