by Kiwiana Ngabung – EM TV Online
Hollywood actress and film-maker, Angelina Jolie Pitt, recently shared information about the removal of her ovaries (oophorectomy) and fallopian tubes (salpingectomy), in the New York Times.
Angelina had a double mastectomy two years ago, after discovering that a blood test had revealed she had an 87 per cent risk of breast cancer, and a 50 per cent risk of ovarian cancer.
The 39 year old, mother of six, noted that the decision of removing her ovaries and fallopian tubes was made after many consultations with doctors and her own research.
In the op-ed she writes:
“I did not do this solely because I carry the BRCA1 gene mutation, and I want other women to hear this. A positive BRCA test does not mean a leap to surgery. I have spoken to many doctors, surgeons and naturopaths. There are other options. Some women take birth control pills or rely on alternative medicines combined with frequent checks. There is more than one way to deal with any health issue. The most important thing is to learn about the options and choose what is right for you personally”.
Losing her own mother, grandmother and aunt to cancer, as well as having the BRCA1 gene mutation herself, Angelina decided this was the best option for her to go with.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are proteins that subdue or prevent the development of tumours. Hence, if there is a mutation in these genes it stops them from working as they should; intensely increasing the risk of tumours and cancers.
She had the operation last week, a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, where there was a non-malignant tumour. Although, having undergone the operation, she expresses that she is still prone to cancer but is seeking natural ways to deal with it.
The procedure has effects more severe than that of the mastectomy, and will have a forced menopause. But says she feels at ease with whatever that will come, because it is part of life and it’s nothing to be feared of.
Angelina’s story has inspired Kelly Osbourne, to share information that she also has the BRCA1 gene mutation.
Clinical director at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Sydney Australia, Dr Allan Spigelman, told ABC Australia that he expected more women to take cancer tests.
“I fully anticipate there will be very significantly renewed interest in breast cancer gene testing across the world as a result of this high-profile person very sadly carrying the gene change but very bravely going ahead to have preventative surgery,” he said.