LOS ANGELES: Actress Angelina Jolie has undergone surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes to avoid getting cancer. She daringly underwent a double mastectomy two years ago followed by reconstructive surgery.
The 39-year-old said that her mother Marcheline Bertrand died when she was 49 and wanted to take the action now. Her operation now has put her into forced menopause, reports mirror.co.uk.
The mother of six said that she had been planning the preventative surgery for a while but two weeks ago she was told by her doctor that there were a "number of inflammatory markers that are elevated".
The doctor also said that it could be a sign of early cancer.
Hence after calling actor-husband Brad Pitt, who was in France at the time, she got the diagnosis and underwent the procedure called laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
Jolie said she took the heart-wrenching decision so she "could see her grandchildren grow up".
Writing in the New York Times magazine, Jolie said: " 'Your CA-125 is normal,' he said. I breathed a sigh of relief. That test measures the amount of the protein CA-125 in the blood, and is used to monitor ovarian cancer. I have it every year because of my family history."
"But that wasn’t all. He went on. 'There are a number of inflammatory markers that are elevated, and taken together they could be a sign of early cancer.' I took a pause. 'CA-125 has a 50 to 75 percent chance of missing ovarian cancer at early stages,' he said."
"He wanted me to see the surgeon immediately to check my ovaries. I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt. 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."
"I called my husband 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."
"That same day I went to see the surgeon, who had treated my mother. I last saw her the day my mother passed away, and she teared up when she saw me: 'You look just like her.' I broke down. But we smiled at each other and agreed we were there to deal with any problem, so 'let’s get on with it.'"
Jolie now says she is in forced menopause at the age of 39, and she won't be able to have any more children. But, she says that now her children won't be able to say their mother died of ovarian cancer.
"I feel feminine, and grounded in the choices I am making for myself and my family. I know my children will never have to say, 'Mom died of ovarian cancer.'" she said.