Christina Applegate got her ovaries & fallopian tubes removed to prevent cancer

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Christina Applegate is a breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed in 2008 when she was just 37. Her cancer was caught early, she underwent a double mastectomy and reconstruction and she was declared cancer free shortly afterwards. Before her diagnosis she was aware that breast cancer was a risk for her as her mother is a two time breast cancer survivor. Christina had regular screenings as a result.

In a recent interview with The Today Show, Applegate revealed that she recently had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as a preventative measure so that she would not develop ovarian cancer, which took her cousin’s life in 2008. She doesn’t explicitly state that she’s BRCA positive but I would assume she had the test and that she is, given the way she speaks about it. Applegate founded a organization called Right Action for Women which helps women afford MRI breast cancer screening as well as be aware of their risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. Here’s some of what she told Today with more at the source.

First off, let’s catch up on your health. How are you doing?
You’re the first person I’m telling this. Two weeks ago, I had my ovaries and [fallopian] tubes removed. My cousin passed away from ovarian cancer in 2008. I could prevent that. That’s how I’ve taken control of everything. It’s a relief. That’s one other thing off the table. Now, let’s hope I don’t get hit by a bus.

What message do you want to send to women?
If you’re BRCA positive, it’s highly possible you’ll develop cancer in your lifetime. The first thing is to be really diligent about what you’re putting into your body, as far as what kind of food you’re eating. Organic is expensive. I get that. I don’t want to alienate anyone who can’t pay for that. But maybe skip your morning latte and get organic vegetables for the week. Try to stay away from the foods that are filled with chemicals. Be a little more diligent and carve out as much of the bad stuff that you can. The other big killer is stress. That’s a hard thing to say to people especially right now. We’re living in a bizarre time. We’re bombarded by what’s going on in our world. Breathe deeper. That’s a big one for me. I used to be a stressed out person. I’m not anymore. I try to find the lining in everything in life.


I (mildly) disagree about buying organic versus non-organic vegetables, but she’s clear that this is a choice that is not affordable for everyone. Organic and traditionally processed vegetables have almost the same amount of nutrients. Plus organic food is cost prohibitive for many people. I feel that if you replace more processed food with vegetables that you’re way ahead of the curve regardless, but I do not have a history of breast or ovarian cancer in my family and would likely feel different about it if I did.

Good for Christina for founding this organization to help more women avoid, detect and treat cancer. It’s sorely needed as this time when our healthcare options, particularly as women, are so precarious. Frankly I’m tired of being treated like my medical reality doesn’t exist because I have a vagina. I’m also terrified of the prospect of going bankrupt after a single emergency. That possibility is now looming over a large portion of the US population and yet so many people are willfully oblivious.

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2016 World Choreography Awards

2016 World Choreography Awards

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24 Responses to “Christina Applegate got her ovaries & fallopian tubes removed to prevent cancer”

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  1. HH says:

    I just recently watched that documentary “What the Health?” and apparently animal products and processed foods do the most damage the body. However, new research and new documentaries come out all the time. So who knows? Sometimes, I just think Americans overall have an unhealthy relationship/obsession with food. While I hear my friends from other countries talk about moderation and portion control, they don’t seem to have the fad obsessions like gluten, carb, paleo etc.

    • STRIPE says:

      I have found that other countries also just have higher quality food than we do too. Our factory farms are not only horrifying for the animals, but they make lower quality meat. All of our food is so processed, even what we get at restaurants. So even when we’re trying to eat healthy, we can miss the mark here so much more often.

      • HH says:

        Yes, I’ve noticed that too. Well, as far as the over processed food part. The lower quality meat part is new info, but makes total sense. When my funds are better, I want to commit to better quality foods and cooking more.

    • ab says:

      I watched it a couple weeks ago and it kicked me into gear in terms of getting back to a healthier way of eating. I used to eat mostly plant-based but fell off that wagon during my last pregnancy. I don’t have much cancer in my family but we have everything else — heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. And I’m getting older so I need to get back to being more conscious of my food choices. It’s unfortunate that not everyone can afford to eat healthy, clean food in this country. But healthy people don’t keep certain industries flush with cash, so … :/

  2. minx says:

    Aw, I wish her the best. She’s talented and seems like a sweet person.

    • denisemich says:

      I like her but she has been captured on numerous occasions smoking cigarettes. I just feel that lifestyle changes weren’t truly considered first.

  3. aims says:

    My mother died of breast cancer almost two years ago. She was the only women in my family to get it. Before she passed away she got the genetic test to see if she carried the gene, she did not. She was an oddity.

    I’m bringing this up because on Wednesday I’m going to see my doctor to check and I’m absolutely terrified. I’m 39, and even though my odds are the same as anyone else to get cancer, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects of cancer.

    My mom didn’t feel anything wrong with her body, no signs. No pain, nothing. It was a silent killer. Through out her painful struggle she never talked to me about it. Maybe because the thought of incoming death was just to much for her to grasp.

    I was given her medical records recently and have gone through them obsessively so that I can protect myself and daughter from anything that can hurt us.

    So this is definitely something that I can relate to and if it comes down to my life or body parts, the body parts are gone.

    • minx says:

      Good luck to you aims.

    • Nancy says:

      @aims…..don’t condemn yourself with a self-fulfilling prophecy. Think positive, no matter how difficult it is. So sorry about your mom. But you are you, and don’t let fear take over your life. I wish you the very best and have already said a prayer for what it’s worth.

      • aims says:

        You’re right. I was talking to my friend who works in the medical field and was very familiar with our family situation. she’s talked me down from panic attacks recently and said exactly what you’ve said. My mother’s story is not mines. Cancer took my mother and family hostage for 20 years.

        After turning 39, I have had countless tests. Within six months I have had a CT scan of my whole body, ultra sounds of my abdomen,blood work to test kidney functions and diabetes. All have come out clean and healthy. So I have been relentless about my health and on Wednesday will be the final test.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      So sorry you lost her. Breast cancer is too common and there are other things in the environment, such as exposure to second-hand smoke during puberty, some medications women were given during pregnancy in the 1940s-1950s (maybe later), etc. that also raise risk. There might have been something unique to her life that wasn’t unique to yours, and really, the biggest risk is having breasts. Thankfully you don’t carry the gene, and you haven’t passed anything to your daughter, and you can go on and live as healthy a life as possible, getting your recommended screening exams for that and for colon cancer, ensuring your daughter has the HPV vaccination series etc.

      My mother had breast cancer in her mid 60s, she is still alive in her early 90s. When she did have cancer, though, I was started too young on annual mammograms because of the false presumption of “family history” at the time, and the radiation exposure was higher then. Women’s medical care just has so many open questions and things keep shifting.

    • AnnaKist says:

      All the best to you, aims.

      My mum also died of breat cancer a few years ago. She had no idea she had it, either. She went into hospital for an unrelated matter, and while we three daughters were visiting, she mentioned a non-painful lump between her breasts. My younger sister looked at it and urged her to speak to the doctor. She and I went out to get us all a coffee, and she said to me, “That’s breast cancer that Mum’s got. “ Stubborn mother didn’t speak to the doctor, but we did, and, sure enough, it was BC. She battled it for 9 years, before succumbing. It’s a terrible lottery. Even if you don’t have a ticket, you can be chosen.

  4. Nancy says:

    People are constantly saying what to or not to eat. My grandfather ate what yaya cooked, butter, meat, sauces and he lived a long life. His bff had a different approach and rarely ate meat, sauces….the exact opposite for health reasons and to live longer. My grandpa outlived his buddy by 20 years. Genetics plays a huge part of our destiny I believe. Christina’s story tells you that, but eating right definitely helps……as does luck, which I wish to Christina and all women in her situation who don’t have the money or insurance that she has and must bear the consequences. Thanks 45.

  5. CTgirl says:

    Women who take control of their health should be applauded. I have a young cousin who has the breast cancer gene and an unbelievable rate of breast cancer on one side of her family. She had a prophylactic mastectomy by the age of 25 and is healthy. Being a woman doesn’t depend on breasts, ovaries, Fallopian tubes or a uterus.

  6. Who ARE These People? says:


  7. lucy2 says:

    If I’m not mistaken, eating organic is not about getting “more nutrients” but avoiding harmful pesticides and other chemicals. Better for you, better for the earth.
    I think this was a smart move for Christina, and in her position I’d do the same.

    • Betsy says:

      Except that they can use some pretty heavy duty pesticides in organic food. It’s one of those funny quirks of the labeling law. Look for farmers you know, look for food grown close in real good dirt (or, as a Northerner approaching winter, good greens grown locally in whatever medium!).

  8. jen says:

    Organic produce and conventionally farmed produce do have similar nutrient levels, but the big difference is that conventional foods have more pesticide residues (on the surface of the produce or even inside, if a systemic insecticide was used). Eating organic or supporting farmers who have reduced risk pesticide programs can reduce pesticide exposure, which can be a good thing for health, particularly for young kids.

    There are some conventional fruits and vegetables that have more pesticides than others, so you could splurge for organic for those groups and go conventional for others. For example, go organic for strawberries and spinach, which have the highest level of residues and types of pesticides. In contrast, conventional onions, avocado, pineapple, cabbage, and asparagus all have low levels of pesticides. USDA tracks pesticide residues in samples of produce and has a searchable database.

    • ladybug says:

      Very well said. The list of high pesticide foods are called “The Dirty Dozen”. Anyone can Google the list and see what fruits and veggies are on it. Pesticides have been linked to all kinds of illnesses and cancers so buyer beware!

    • KiddVicious says:

      I agree. People seem to forget organic means no pesticides, not that the food has more nutrients.

  9. Sara says:

    You should really follow the dirty dozen at the very least. It isn’t about nutrient levels as most produce loses nutrients as it travels regardless if it is organic. Its about the pesticides and the farm being less toxic to us and the environment. You should know that. Educate yourself, no excuse.

  10. Eileen says:

    I just turned 44 and I’ve been diagnosed with stage one breast cancer-I’m negative for BRCA 1&2 mutations. If I was positive then I’d go for a double mastectomy and hysterectomy no questions asked. My lumpectomy is next week