LOS ANGELES - She's a bombshell on the big screen. Now actress Angelina Jolie is dropping a different kind of bombshell. This one about her health. In an Op-Ed for the New York Times, the mother of six revealed she recently had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.
She made the difficult decision to have the surgery after a blood test detected a possible sign of cancer.
You may remember two years ago, Angelina underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning she had a rare gene mutation that predisposes her to breast and ovarian cancer.
"Women who have a strong family history of definitely ovary cancer or any other gynecological cancer or even some other cancers should really talk to their physicians about that to determine if they should be sent to a genetic counselor," Dr. Siobhan Kehoe with UT Southwestern Medical Center said.
Doctors hope her announcement will encourage other women to learn their options for dealing with ovarian cancer.
About 14,000 American women will die of ovarian cancer this year.
"We have to teach women that they can only take care of all the people that they take care of in their lives if they take care of themselves," Dr. Kehoe said.
Thanks to Angelina Jolie's decision to go public with the news, some of these women will live for many years to come.
Are you at risk for ovarian cancer? Dr. Kehoe discusses some of the risk factors.
How do you know if you have ovarian cancer? Dr. Kehoe describes symptoms you need to discuss with your doctor.
What do you do if you're at risk for ovarian cancer? Dr. Kehoe talks about your options.