Further surgery for Angelina Jolie

Actress has ovaries removed to reduce cancer risk.

by Jennie Kermode

Angelina Jolie speaking at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in 2014
Angelina Jolie speaking at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in 2014

Two years after she had a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing breast cancer, Angelina Jolie has chosen to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in order to protect herself from ovarian cancer. The actress has a faulty BRCA1 gene, which places her at higher risk of developing both these diseases. She has opted to be open about her treatment, writing in today's New York Times, in the hope of making others more aware of their options.

Jolie lost her mother to breast cancer and was recently told that she had symptoms often seen in the body just prior to the development of ovarian cancer, so felt that immediate surgery was the safest option. Although oophorectomy is a much simpler operation that mastectomy, it has more dramatic effects on the body because it removes a major source of hormone production and thereby triggers many of the symptoms of menopause. Patients are afterwards at greater risk of osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) and cardiovascular problems. Jolie has elected to received artificial hormone treatment, which reduces these risks. Diet and exercise can also make a difference.

The actress' surgery means that she will no longer be able to get pregnant. She currently has three children who are biologically hers and three she has adopted, and says that the important thing is knowing that she will be around for them as they grow up.

Share this with others on...

Decisive moments Evelyn Schels on Marina Abramovic, Sigalit Landau, Shirin Neshat and Katharina Sieverding in Body Of Truth

Sense memories Robert Tinnell on Feast Of The Seven Fishes and family memories

Keeping his word Michael Apted in conversation on 63 Up

Talking about juxtapositions Thom Powers on dreams, fashion, identity, nature and bright spotlights in DOC NYC

Dedicated to DA Pennebaker Thom Powers on Martin Scorsese, Michael Apted, the Masters and Winner’s Circle in the tenth edition

EIFF goes coastal Free Film Fest on the Forth announced

More news and features

We're bring you coverage of the London Korean Film Festival and DOC NYC and the French Film Festival.

We're looking forward to Tallinn Black Nights and Welsh horror festival Abertoir.

We've recently been at the Valencia Film Festival, New York's NewFest, the Cambridge Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff, Manchester's Grimmfest, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival and the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.