HOLLYWOOD star Angelina Jolie has revealed she faces further cancer-preventing surgery, after undergoing a double mastectomy.
The 38-year-old Oscar-winning actress had her breasts removed last year after discovering she was at high risk of developing breast cancer.
In a new interview with the US magazine Entertainment Weekly, the star told how she had another operation to come, saying “There’s still another surgery to have, which I haven’t yet. I’ll get advice from all these wonderful people who I’ve been talking to, to get through that next stage.”
The star lost her mother in 2007 to ovarian cancer, and she has previously told how her six children and her partner, actor Brad Pitt, contributed to her decision to have the surgery and how she wanted to speak out to educate other women in her situation about their options.
Jolie did not give any details of her forthcoming surgery, but it is widely believed it will involve a hysterectomy as the star has also learned she has a high genetic risk of developing ovarian cancer.
After her mother died, Jolie learned she was a carrier of the “faulty” BRCA1 gene which means she is at increased risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. Jolie was told by doctors she had an 87 per cent chance of developing breast cancer and 50 per cent chance of being diagnosed ovarian cancer.
In her latest interview, the actress said that she was “very happy” with her decision to have the preventative surgery.
She said: “I was very fortunate to have great doctors and very, very fortunate to have a good recovery and have a project like Unbroken [the Second World War survival story she directed] to have something to be really focused on, to be getting healthy for, and to be able to just get right back to work.”
The actress, who won an Oscar for he role in the film Girl, Interrupted, said she has had a lot of support from the public: “I was very, very moved by all the support and kindness from so many people.”
Professor Hani Gabra, director of Ovarian Cancer Action, said that there were few options for women found to have the gene mutation.
“Medical science currently has limited options to help these women beyond removal of the breasts and or ovaries,” he said.
“However, by choosing to have a preventative hysterectomy and removing the ovaries and fallopian tubes will significantly cut the chance of death.
In a newspaper article published last year, entitled My Medical Choice, Jolie told how her mother fought cancer for nearly a decade and understood what inheriting the gene meant.
“Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and minimise the risk as much as I could,” she wrote.
“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.”
“I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive.”