Angelina Jolie is a beacon of light for any woman suffering from a disease. She has spoken out previously about the double mastectomy she underwent two years ago in an effort to help others who were going through the same thing. Her message is clear: If you are going through an issue dealing with cancer, you are not alone. She also urges readers to get checked and get help before it’s too late. Her message is inspirational and her reach is wide.
She learned that she had the BRCA1 gene mutation and was told that a test showed that she could possibly have early signs of cancer. Instead of putting it off, like a lot of us do with scary decisions, she faced the problem head on.
With regard to her ovarian and fallopian tube removal surgery, she revealed, “It is a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, but its effects are more severe. It puts a woman into forced menopause. So I was readying myself physically and emotionally, discussing options with doctors, researching alternative medicine, and mapping my hormones for estrogen or progesterone replacement. But I felt I still had months to make the date.”
She learned that she could possibly have an early stage of cancer in her body, but had to wait five days to know for sure. Of those five days, 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.”
She wants readers to know that she didn’t make the decision to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes without checking out all of the facts and she wants you to know that surgery may not always be the best course of action.
I did not do this solely because I carry the BRCA1 gene mutation, and I want other women to hear this. A positive BRCA test does not mean a leap to surgery. I have spoken to many doctors, surgeons and naturopaths. There are other options. 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 is right for you personally.
Despite all of the actions one can take to remove cancerous or pre-cancerous tissue, she said that she still remains prone to cancer. She said, “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.”
She also gave an update with regard to her health overall. She said, “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.”
She ended her op-ed with a call to action for those who may suffer from any health impairment. She concluded, “It is not easy to make these decisions. But it is possible to take control and tackle head-on any health issue. You can seek advice, learn about the options and make choices that are right for you. Knowledge is power.”
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