Angelina Jolie Pitt had another major elective surgery but wants you to know you don't have to.

In 2013, Angelina Jolie Pitt underwent a double mastectomy after learning she carried a mutated gene often linked with breast and ovarian cancer. In her March 2015 New York Times op-ed, Angelina revealed she recently underwent another preventative cancer surgery, electing to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. While her story is a brave and touching one, her words for other women who are concerned about their risk of developing cancer speak volumes.

It's important for women to know there are a variety of options available when it comes to dealing with cancer and taking preventative measures if you're at risk for cancer. Angelina's willingness to share her experience is not only brave, but could possibly save lives and comfort women who are worried about their own health.


While her 2013 op-ed on her double mastectomy made news around the world, there are still plenty of women who don't know early cancer screenings are available. And, sadly, the medical industry continues to be incredibly biased toward women, often with giving them higher insurance premiums and fewer opportunities for clinal trials. That's why a huge celebrity who is encouraging women to explore their options and make decisions they feel comfortable with for their bodies is such a big deal. Not to mention, it's also pretty cool to hear a beautiful and confident woman talking about her health and body in such an open and honest way.

One concern raised after Angelina wrote about her double mastectomy that no doubt will surface again with her latest piece was that many women can't afford screening to identify the BRCA1 gene, and even those who can can't always afford surgery or treatment. That's why I think it's important that Angelina noted that there are a variety of options when it comes to preventative cancer care. Feminist organizer and writer Erin Matson summed up this sentiment quite perfectly on Twitter:

My hope is that by making this information more widely available, perhaps more women will demand these tests become more accessible for women of all economic backgrounds and maybe insurance companies will get on board to provide coverage for these screenings.

Angelina went on to say that choosing to have surgery does not make her feel less feminine or less of a woman, which I think is also a powerful note.

Women are not the sum of their body parts. Ovaries don't make a woman. Breasts don't make a woman. Being a woman makes a woman. So it's quite beautiful that Angelina not only used her platform to educate women about their health care options, but shared that her surgeries have not changed who she is. It's important to challenge the idea so many people still subscribe to that femininity and womanhood are reliant on body parts instead of who you are and how you feel about yourself. I'm proud of Angelina Jolie Pitt for using her influence in such a positive way while also acknowledging her privilege and attempting to use it for the benefit of others. Here's hoping this important conversation helps others make more informed decisions about the care they want and need.

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