Angelina Jolie Has Ovaries, Fallopian Tubes Removed Over Cancer Fears

Angie Post-Surgery
Angelina Jolie's first public appearance after 2013 double mastectomy.

Nearly two years after announcing her preventative double mastectomy, Angelina Jolie has written a new op-ed for the New York Times, this time revealing the removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes.

In “Angelina Jolie Pitt: Diary of a Surgery,” published Tuesday (Mar. 25, 2015), the mother, actress, and director reveals that she had the surgery just last week to lower her risk of getting cancer.

According to Jolie, 39, a phone call with her doctor two weeks ago revealed elevated “inflammatory markers” from blood test results. She was advised to see a surgeon immediately.

“I called my husband [Brad Pitt] 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 polarizing, and it is peaceful.”

Following an examination and ultrasound, Jolie, whose mother, grandmother, and aunt all died of cancer, said nothing was “concerning.” The PET/CT scan was clear and she tested negative for a tumor. Still, she had the option of having a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

“In my case, the Eastern and Western doctors I met agreed that surgery to remove my tubes and ovaries was the best option, because on top of the BRCA gene [which gives Jolie a high risk of breast cancer], three women in my family have died from cancer. My doctors indicated I should have preventative 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.”

As a result of the surgery, Jolie is now in menopause. But the mother of six says she feels “at ease with whatever will come.”

“I feel deeply for women for whom this moment comes very early in life, before they have had their children. Their situation is far harder than mine. I inquired and found out that there are options for women to remove their fallopian tubes but keep their ovaries, and so retain the ability to bear children and not go into menopause. I hope they can be aware of that.”

Read her full op-ed at the New York Times.