In an op-ed for the New York Times, actress and mom Angelina Jolie reveals that she recently underwent surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.
The news comes two years after the 39-year-old "Unbroken" director revealed in the same newspaper her decision to undergo a double mastectomy after finding out that she carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, increasing her odds of getting cancer.
"I lost my mother, grandmother and aunt to cancer," she writes. "I wanted other women at risk to know about the options."
Jolie explains that she underwent more tests, including a measurement of the protein CA-125, which can be used to track ovarian cancer.
While that was normal, Jolie's doctor found other indications that could point to early-stage ovarian cancer.
That's when she called her husband, Brad Pitt, who was in France at the time and "was on a plane within hours," she writes.
Jolie had the surgery last week — a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy — and the effects of that operation places women into forced menopause.
But the mother of six isn't necessarily advocating this surgery for all women who receive a positive BRCA test.
"I have spoken to many doctors, surgeons and naturopaths. There are other options," she writes. "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 it right for you personally."
Jolie admits that after the surgery there are powerful effects on her body — she must take hormone replacement therapy, she will not be able to have any more children and she is expecting further physical changes.
However, she is confident in her decision.
"I know my children will never have to say, 'Mom died of ovarian cancer.'"