Jolie Has Ovaries Removed: What You Need to Know About Cancer Screening
A few years after having a preventive double mastectomy, Angelina Jolie Pitt has just revealed that she has had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in hopes of avoiding cancer.
Writing about the dramatic decision in The New York Times, the 39-year-old Oscar winner said she made the choice after a recent test showed elevated levels of "inflammatory markers" that could indicate early-stage cancer.
Jolie, whose mother, grandmother and aunt died of cancer, had the double mastectomy when tests showed she had an estimated 87 percent chance of breast cancer. Those tests also showed a 50 percent chance of ovarian cancer.
It is not possible to remove all risk, and the fact is I remain prone to cancer. I will look for natural ways to strengthen my immune system. 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.”
Regardless of the hormone replacements I’m taking, I am now in menopause. I will not be able to have any more children, and I expect some physical changes. But I feel at ease with whatever will come, not because I am strong but because this is a part of life. It is nothing to be feared.
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.
Dr. David Samadi joined "Fox and Friends" to highlight the importance of cancer screenings, saying Jolie "made the right decision for her family and herself."
He said right now there's a lot of confusion and conflicting guidelines about whether people should undergo cancer screenings.
Samadi, who launched the #SamadiChallenge six months ago, emphasized how critical it is for men to undergo prostate cancer screenings and for women to have mammograms.
Once a person's risk factors are determined, lifestyle improvements can be made.
"Now should every woman go and take out their breasts and ovaries and men take out their prostates? Of course not. It's called risk stratification. We look at each individual and we decide. The guidelines are the guidelines, but they change every day," said Samadi.
Kimberly Guilfoyle asked Samadi about the reality that some women may not have adequate health insurance or financial resources to undergo extra tests.
Samadi called that a "huge problem" and noted there are foundations out there that can help in some instances.
Watch his analysis above and learn more about how you can get involved in the #SamadiChallenge, here.