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Jolie now having ovaries removed

Last updated 08:49 16/05/2013
Angelina Jolie
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Jolie carries a mutant gene that increases the risk of her getting ovarian cancer.

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Angelina Jolie has revealed she has decided to remove her ovaries in addition to having a preventative double mastectomy.

In a moving and powerful op-ed in The New York Times this week, the actress said she had the mastectomy in February after finding out she carried a gene that gave her an 87 per cent of getting breast cancer.

That gene, BRCA1, also means she has a high risk of developing ovarian cancer - about 50 per cent.

According to People magazine, Jolie plans to have ovary removal surgery as a cautionary measure.

Would you have a double mastectomy?

The procedure is recommended for high-risk women before the age of 40. Jolie's mother died of cancer at the age of 56.

According to People: "Some doctors recommend patients undergo the surgery by age 40 or when a woman is done having children, though it may trigger early menopause."

Jolie, who is 37, will no longer be able to have children after the surgery.

Jolie and her fiancé, Brad Pitt, have three biological children and three adopted children - all under the age of 11.

Jolie explained in her op-ed that had the mastectomy so "I can tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer".

Jolie's decision has been praised widely. Pitt said: "Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie's choice, as well as many others like her, absolutely heroic. I thank our medical team for their care and focus."

Her estranged father, Jon Voight, said: "I was as surprised as anyone and deeply moved by the way she's handled this. She's a very extraordinary person. The way she examined it and what she shared."

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