Angelina Jolie: I had my ovaries removed to prevent cancer

The Hollywood actress carries a gene mutation that gave her a 50 percent risk of developing ovarian cancer

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Angelina Jolie revealed on Tuesday that she has undergone surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, two years after she sparked a debate on women’s health by getting a double mastectomy.

The Hollywood actress and U.N. peace envoy said she underwent the preventative surgery because she carries a mutation in the BRAC1 gene that gave her a 50 percent risk of developing ovarian cancer.


Writing in the New York Times, Jolie said her decision was not easy.

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

“A simple blood test had revealed that I carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. It gave me an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. I lost my mother, grandmother and aunt to cancer.

“I wanted other women at risk to know about the options. I promised to follow up with any information that could be useful, including about my next preventive surgery, the removal of my ovaries and fallopian tubes.

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

She also said that the procedure forces a woman into menopause and she will now take hormone replacements.

Two years ago, Jolie wrote about her decision to have a double mastectomy after learning she had the gene mutation.

The 39-year-old said she wants to help provide information to women going through similar experiences.

"I feel feminine, and grounded in the choices I am making for myself and my family," Jolie added.

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