Actress Angelina Jolie has undergone surgery to remove her ovaries and Fallopian tubes after doctors detected possible signs of cancer earlier this month.
Jolie, 39, described the surgery in an opinion piece published in Tuesday's New York Times. She wrote an account of her preventative double mastectomy for the same publication two years ago.
Jolie writes that she had been planning to have her latest surgery for several months. Two weeks ago, she got a call from her doctor, who told her that blood tests had revealed "a number of inflammatory markers that are elevated, and taken together they could be a sign of early cancer."
An examination by Jolie's surgeon found nothing concerning, but the actress says she still had the option of undergoing the procedure and chose to do so. After the surgery, she learned that she had a small benign tumor on one ovary, but no signs of cancer.
Jolie underwent the double mastectomy two years ago after a blood test revealed that she carried a gene mutation that gave her an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. At the time, Jolie revealed that she had lost her mother, grandmother, and aunt to the disease.
"It is not possible to remove all risk, and the fact is I remain prone to cancer," Jolie writes. She says her most recent surgery was "a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, but its effects are more severe."
"Regardless of the hormone replacements I’m taking, I am now in menopause," Jolie writes near the end of her piece. "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."