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Many of us eat healthy and exercise every day in an effort to prevent diseases that are prominent in the Hispanic community, like diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately there are things happening inside our bodies that regardless how careful and how healthy a life you lead, the risk still exists because it’s in your genes. This is the case for Angelina Jolie, who took the time to publish an op-ed in the New York Times this morning announcing that she removed her ovaries and fallopian tubes because after visiting her doctor, they found traces of what can potentially develop into ovarian cancer.
Two years ago she had a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of cancer, since she lost her mother, grandmother and aunt to the horrible disease. A new report from the American Cancer Society states that cancer is the #1 death among Hispanics, which is why her announcement is creating awareness of the preventative measures that exist to prevent people from dying from this disease.
The Jolie effect has done exactly that. Everyone admires Angelina Jolie because it takes a lot to have these preventative procedures, and while this was the best decision for her, it might not be for everyone. The goal of her op-ed was to bring awareness to getting pre-screened and hopefully helping save the lives of others that are in the same situation as she is.
When you get a hysterectomy you can no longer have any children. Jolie is only 39 years old, so she can’t have any more children and the procedure sent her into early menopause. You can also experience vaginal dryness and lack of interest in sex. You can be put at risk for certain conditions, like bone loss, heart disease, and urine incontinence. Many women have a difficult time dealing with not being able to have children, especially when they’re still young like Jolie.
There is a lot of research that can be done online in regards to hysterectomies and cancer, but unless you get tested, then you’ll never know. Visit your doctor if there’s a history of ovarian or breast cancer in your family. While the Jolie Effect gets the conversation started, it’s important to decrease your chances by taking preventative measures today.