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Angelina Jolie Discusses Removal of Her Ovaries and Fallopian Tubes

The humanitarian and filmmaker shares the latest development in her journey to minimize her cancer risk.

Image via Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons.

Today, Angelina Jolie penned an op-ed for the New York Times frankly discussing her recent surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. The operation carried the added weight of kickstarting early menopause despite the hormone replacements Jolie has been taking. It was the latest development in Jolie’s commitment to publicly sharing her courageous efforts to preemptively minimize her chances for cancer, ever since a blood test revealed that she carried the “faulty” BRCA1 gene, which gave Jolie “an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.” The humanitarian, filmmaker, and mother of six has been incredibly forthright in disclosing the details of her difficult journey with the world, including the decision to undergo a double mastectomy two years ago. Post-procedure, Jolie reported in another NYT op-ed that her breast cancer risk had “dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent.”

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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: The Surprising Link Between Light Pollution and Cancer

Do we need nighttime darkness to stay healthy? After finding a correlation between light pollution and increased risk of cancer, researchers say yes.


There are plenty of arguments against lighting the night sky: It wastes energy, blots out stars and messes with the nocturnal habits of animals in a big way. Now there’s another reason, one that could go a long way toward convincing humans that whatever sense of safety is conferred by nighttime lighting, it isn’t worth the risk. It turns out that light pollution may be a cancer risk.

That statement is bold, but increasingly the science is proving it out. Humans, as well as many animals and plants, need regular exposure to darkness to maintain what’s called the circadian rhythm—essentially the body’s internal clock, which governs various bodily functions. Of particular interest to researchers is the fact that darkness at night tells the body to produce certain hormones, most importantly melatonin, which not only aids sleep, but also helps to maintain immune system function.

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