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Thread: Angelina Jolie Had Preventative Double Mastectomy

  1. #26
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    Several of the women in my BC Support group have one of the 2 BRCA genes. Yes, there are 2 possible 'bad' genes that can cause breast and related cancers. One of them had melanoma (one of the related cancers) when she was 17. All of these women have elected to have double mastectomies, hysterectomies, and oopherectomies (removal of the ovaries). They are still at risk for brain and bone cancer, but much less so now. The one who had melanoma has never had breast cancer, but her sister did and had the test, which was positive, because several female relative had had BC, and that is why she was tested. All of them are brave, pragmatic women, and I feel very priviledged to know them and have them as my sisters in breast cancer support. We get together twice a month, laugh a lot and get serious when the need arises, especially for newbies or recurrences, and we're VERY supportive of each other, a lot like lionesses in a family pack.

    We share information about doctors - oncoolgists, surgeons and plastic surgeons. There isn't one right doctor for everyone, because we all have different needs. And we share info about our different pre- and post-surgical treatment - chemo, radiation and anti-hormone. I'm nearly 5 years in remission, and it's amazing how much more has been learned about breast cancer treatment in these 5 years. It has become a chronic disease instead of a terminal diagnosis, IF it's caught early, as it almost always is in this day of mammos, MRIs, ultra sounds, and self-exams. Don't forget those self-exams! 5% of BC tumors DON'T show up on mammos - mine didn't. You don't know about them until they are big enough to feel in a self-exam! Fortunately, those are the ones that are SLOW-growing, so you still are likely to catch them early like I did at stage IIa.
    Last edited by JoanneS; 05-17-2013 at 07:27 PM.

  2. #27
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nivosum View Post
    What a lot of people don't know is that you can still get breast cancer because they can not remove all the breast tissue. I saw a young lady at M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital that had her breast removed because of the gene. She still got breast cancer. She was having major medical issues resulting from the chemo treatment. However, less breast tissue probably does reduce the risk.
    BINGO!!!!!!! I wish I could talk to every woman about this test.....some oncologists really really avoid this test for a very good reason....I for one am not convinced this test does anything more than put more fear and panic out there. During my treatment for ovarian cancer a woman sat next to me receiving chemo for ovarian cancer....she had both breasts removed and complete hysterectomy and she still got ovarian cancer.....would not have believed it if I didn't witness first hand.....please be careful with this test!

  3. #28
    Super Member nancia's Avatar
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    i had prophylactic subcutaneous mastectomies in 1985. my sister had died at 30 from bc. the later lab tests showed that i would have had cancer in both breasts within 2 yrs if i had left them alone. i was 34 and the mother of 2. the third arrived the next year. my logic was you can't get cancer in something you don't have. my other sister has since lost both breasts to cancer and my mom gave up one. we used to call her the keeper of the family boob. dad was the guardian. 8-)) both have since passed. my sister's disease and death was a wake up call! without her the rest of us would have died of breast cancer. my odds were sky high and i went against drs' recommendations and had the surgery. it was a gut core decision on my part. i knew they had to go. my dh was wonderful! he said he was behind any decision i made and supported me totally. his stance was there was nothing they could remove that would make me less desirable and he loved me for me. we just celebrated 37 yrs together. every day is a gift! i understand angelina's motivation and logic. there isn't anything i wouldn't do within my power for my children. they are now 34, 32 and 26. when i had the surgery the boys were 4 and 6. i wouldn't have missed the following years for anything! and now i have a dgd! the cherry on top of life's sundae!
    The only bad days are the ones you don't get.

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