About two years ago Angelina Jolie made headlines when she told the public she had undergone a double mastectomy after learning she carried a specific gene mutation that had a very high risk of developing into breast cancer. Now, after multiple blood tests revealed that she carries a gene mutation that puts her at high risk of developing ovarian cancer, she realized her best option was to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes in hopes of dramatically cutting her cancer risk.
Jolie will now be entering surgical menopause and must take hormones in order to maintain a healthy uterus and body. Jolie says she takes estrogen and progesterone daily and is happy knowing her children will never lose their mom to ovarian cancer in the way she lost her own mother, aunt, and grandmother to cancer. Jolie says, “It is not possible to remove all risk, and the fact is I remain prone to cancer.” Luckily, because of advancements in blood tests, she is able to do something about her risk instead of just waiting to see what happens. Jolie says she is satisfied with her procedure and although this was the best decision for her, she tells other women not to jump to surgery– to explore all options and talk with their doctors about what is best for their life.
Angelina Jolie’s willingness to be vocal about her health is applauded by many, as it brings awareness to issues that do not always get a lot of attention. Some say her decision will scare women into unnecessary surgery, but Jolie makes it a point to remind women that it’s up to them to decide what route to take.
If you have questions about your own cancer risk, you can always schedule a consultation with me. I’m more than happy to help you make the right decision for you, your family, and your health.