Angelina Jolie is what Menopause looks like

Angelina Jolie is what Menopause looks like

Angelina Jolie Credit Luke Macgregor/Reuters

Angelina Jolie Credit Luke Macgregor/Reuters

Angelina Jolie is in full-blown menopause at 39. And I can’t wait to hear all about it.

Much like her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy two years ago because she carries a mutation in the BRCA1 gene — it gave her an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer having lost her mother, grandmother and aunt to cancer, and she took those odds seriously — Angelina decided to have surgery to remove her ovaries now, while she is healthy.

As she says in the New York Time article:

“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.

In my case, the Eastern and Western doctors I met agreed that surgery to remove my tubes and ovaries was the best option, because on top of the BRCA gene, three women in my family have died from cancer. My doctors indicated I should have preventive surgery about a decade before the earliest onset of cancer in my female relatives. My mother’s ovarian cancer was diagnosed when she was 49. I’m 39.

Last week, I had the procedure: a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. There was a small benign tumor on one ovary, but no signs of cancer in any of the tissues.

I have a little clear patch that contains bio-identical estrogen. A progesterone IUD was inserted in my uterus. It will help me maintain a hormonal balance, but more important it will help prevent uterine cancer. I chose to keep my uterus because cancer in that location is not part of my family history.”

While every woman goes through menopause, most do it quietly and privately. Most women have no idea what to expect and no idea of what to do if they suffer extreme symptoms; some have menopause pass through their lives with no symptoms at all. Ask your friends about their experiences and share your own stories today. You’ll be amazed at the conversations you’ll have!

I tweeted this morning:

#AngelinaJoliePitt: Diary of a Surgery http://nyti.ms/1xYIH0Z Show the world what #menopause really looks like! Go girl! retweet retweet!

Please spread the word.

Photo of Angelina Jolie by Luke Macgregor/Reuters

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. Lila at 8:51 pm

    What a brave woman! Thanks for sharing.