Two years after undergoing a preventive double mastectomy to reduce her risks of getting cancer, Angelina Jolie reveals she's had her ovaries removed due to possible signs of the disease.
In an op-ed published in 'The New York Times' on Tuesday, the actress explains what the last few weeks have been like and how she came to the decision to go ahead with surgery.
"I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt," she writes of hearing that her blood tests showed cause for concern. "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."
Angelina with hubby Brad at a 2014 premiere. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Angelina shares that husband Brad Pitt was by her side in a matter of hours after receiving the news. "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 polarizing, and it is peaceful," the mother-of-six says.
Although the tumor test turned up negative, the filmmaker decided to have her ovaries removed anyway. "There was still a chance of early stage cancer, but that was minor compared with a full-blown tumor," she says. "To my relief, I still had the option of removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes and I chose to do it."
The duo are parents to Maddox, 13, Pax, 11, Zahara, 10, Shiloh, 8, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 6. [Note: Vivienne is not pictured.] (Photo Credit: Splash)
The 39-year-old, whose mother died from ovarian cancer in 2007, carries the BRCA1 gene mutation that predisposes her to the disease. And while she also underwent the double mastectomy in 2013 as a preventive measure, she stresses that her decisions are not for everyone.
"The most important thing is to learn about the options and choose what is right for you personally," Angelina writes in 'The New York Times.' "I am now in menopause. I will not be able to have any more children, and I expect some physical changes."
Angelina with mom Marcheline Bertrand in 1998. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
But, Angie adds, "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."