Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed in The New York Times Tuesday explaining her decision to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed due to her high genetic risk of cancer was met with praise from doctors, cancer organizations and her show-business peers.
"I know my children will never have to say, 'Mom died of ovarian cancer,' " Jolie, 39, wrote after giving detailed descriptions of the testing and the medical procedures, which resulted in early menopause. "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."
Louise Bayne, chief executive of the London-based charity Ovacome, noted there is no screening test for ovarian cancer, and told Sky News, "We . . . applaud her for speaking publicly and openly about it." Organizations from Brooklyn's Louisa M. McGregor Ovarian Cancer Foundation to Austin's Livestrong to the University of California, San Francisco, Cancer Center tweeted links to the Op-Ed. As far off as Australia, the news division of a Melbourne TV station tweeted, "Angelina Jolie has made another brave decision, 2 years after having a preventative double mastectomy."
TV physician Dr. Mehmet Oz tweeted, "I applaud Angelina Jolie's courage to do what she & her doctors felt was necessary to ensure her overall well-being."
Sitcom star Mindy Kaling tweeted, "I truly hope you take a few minutes to read this moving & informative oped," while Melissa Fumero of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" wrote, "I hope all my ladies read this important, emotional, & informative piece. Knowledge is power."
In May 2013, Jolie revealed in a New York Times Op-Ed piece that she had opted to have a preventive double mastectomy after learning that she carries the breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA1). Women with the defective gene have a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Jolie's maternal grandmother also had ovarian cancer and her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of ovarian cancer in 2007 at age 56.