Angelina Jolie has undergone a procedure to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, the actress herself confirms in a moving new op-ed for The New York Times.
Two years after having a preventive double mastectomy to reduce her risks of getting cancer, Jolie explains that she received a call two weeks ago from her doctor.
He told her that a test showed markers that could be a sign of ovarian cancer.
"I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt," Jolie writes. "I told myself to stay calm, to be strong, and that I had no reason to think I wouldn’t live to see my children grow up and to meet my grandchildren."
Jolie's mother, grandmother and aunt all died of ovarian cancer.
Jolie says she called Brad Pitt upon learning the news. He immediately got on a plane home from France.
"The beautiful thing about such moments in life is that there is so much clarity. You know what you live for and what matters. It is polarizing, and it is peaceful," the mother of six writes.
The Oscar winner goes on to explain that she saw the same physician who treated her mother.
She then had to another five days for test results that would reveal whether there was cancer somewhere in her body, passing that time "in a haze, attending my children's soccer game, and working to stay calm and focused."
The results eventually came and Jolie learned that she was cancer-free.
"I was full of happiness, although the radioactive tracer meant I couldn't hug my children," she writes. "There was still a chance of early stage cancer, but that was minor compared with a full-blown tumor.
"To my relief, I still had the option of removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes and I chose to do it."
Jolie has been forced into menopause as a result of this decision. But says it was the right one to make for herself at this time.
"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.'"