Just days after Angelina Jolie revealed she has undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer, reports suggest that the movie star is planning more surgery.
In an op-ed for The New York Times, the 37-year-old actress revealed that a "faulty" BRCA1 gene put her at an 87% risk of contracting breast cancer.
"I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex. On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved."
According to People magazine, the mother-of-six is now planning to finish what she started, and undergo surgery to remove her ovaries, as the gene means she has a 50% chance of developing ovarian cancer.
The procedure, technically known as an oophorectomy, is commonly performed as part of a hysterectomy, during which the uterus is removed. However, women may opt to have their ovaries removed if there are other health concerns.
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An oophorectomy can also reduce the risk of breast cancer for women, as the surgery reduces the body's supply of oestrogen.
However, the surgery does not come without risk factors. Side effects of the procedure can include premature menopause, potentially premature aging, greater risk for cardiovascular disease, and a chance of developing osteoporosis, according to wisegeek.com.
As a result, post-op patients may be given medications to help keep their bones from growing more fragile, as well as hormone replacement therapy.