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I lost my mother to ovarian cancer but I know that my children will now never have to say that their mom died of the same disease; ANGELINA ON HER DRASTIC BUT LIFESAVING OP.

Byline: KATIE HIND LA Editor

HOLLYWOOD star Angelina Jolie yesterday revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed last week in major surgery aimed at stopping her getting cancer.

She carries a faulty gene that raises her risk of ovarian cancer to 50% and a checkup two weeks ago revealed worrying "inflammatory markers".

Husband Brad Pitt, 51, was on a flight home within hours after she called him in France with the bad news.

Her mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, died from the same type of cancer at 56. And two years ago Angelina had a double mastect-omy because the same BRAC gene gave her an 87% chance of getting breast cancer.

In an emotional article in the New York Times magazine yesterday, she said: "I told myself to stay calm, to be strong, and that I had no reason to think I wouldn't live to see my children grow up and meet my grandchildren.

"I lost my mother, my grandmother and my aunt to cancer.

"I called my husband in France, who was on the plane within hours. The beautiful thing about such moments in life is that there is so much clarity. You know what you live for and what matters.

"It is not possible to remove all risk... 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.' "

Angelina, 39, said she had long planned to have her ovaries out but finding the inflammations on her ovaries made her operation - a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy - more urgent. On the day of the result she went to see the surgeon who had treated her mother,.

"I last saw her the day my mother passed away," she said. "She teared up... and said, 'You look just like her.' I broke down. But we smiled... and agreed we were there to deal with any problem."

She then had more tests to find out exactly what was going on in her body.

"I was relieved that if it was cancer, it was mostly likely to be in the early stages," she said. "If it was somewhere else in my body I would know in five days.

"I passed those five days in a haze, attending my children's soccer game, and working to stay calm and focused.

"The day of the results came. The PET/ CT scan looked clear, and the tumour test was negative. I was full of happiness, although the radioactive tracer meant I couldn't hug my children.

"There was still a chance of early-stage cancer, but that was minor compared with a full-blown tumour. To my relief, I still had the option of removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes and I chose to do it. My mum was diagnosed when she was 49. I'm 39."

Angelina - mum to Maddox, 13, Knox, 11, Zahara, 10, Shiloh, eight and twins Vivienne and Knox, six - is now in "forced menopause." She will take hormone replacements and says she expects physical changes but "nothing to be feared." She said she had spoken out after vowing to keep women updated with any information that could help them.

"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," she said.

"I found out that there are options for women to remove their fallopian tubes but keep their ovaries... retain the ability to bear children and not go into menopause. I hope they can be aware of that.

"It is not easy to make these decisions. But it is possible to take control and take head-on any health issue.

"You can seek advice, learn about the options and make choices that are right for you. Knowledge is power."

katie.hind@mirror.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

HIGH RISK Film star Angelina

Angelina and Marcheline in 2001

FLIGHT HOME Hubby Brad Pitt rushed back
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 25, 2015
Words:678
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