Posted by Leslie Waxman
on January 26, 2000 at 11:23:49:
I too have a very strong family history of Breast and Ovarian Cancer. My father who is now 68 had Br.Ca. 9 years ago and had a mastectomy. He has been genetically tested and found to have Positive BrcaI&2. I am 43, have 3 beautiful kids and a wonderful husband. I decided, upon the recommendation of my Breast doctor, to be tested for the gene. I have positive Brca1. This means I have an 87% chance, in my lifetime of getting Breast cancer. I also have a 45% chance of getting Ovarian Cancer, in my lifetime.
My Paternal grandmother died of Ovarian Cancer, My fathers' sister had breast cancer, her daughter had breast cancer at age 40. I have watched them all suffer . I have spoken to my Dr. about Tamoxifen and/orProphylactic Mastectomies. I have never had cancer.
Tamoxifen, for me,is not a good enough reduction in my risk factors for contracting Br. or Ov. Cancer. I, after much thought have decided to have Bi-Lateral Prophylactic Mastectomies with immediate recontruction, so I won't be worrying on a day to day basis, when I am going to get it. I would rather have surgery now, while I am healthy, and have choices about what type of reconstruction I can have, instead of surgery later, chemo, or radiation and who knows what else! My surgery will probably be within the next month. I have met and spoken to several people who have done this, and every single one of them, is happy they did it. If I had cancer in the past and have a strong family history, I wouldn't think twice about doing whatever it took to bring my risk factors into normal range. That is just me, and people must do what is right for them. Good luck to all of you who are facing these questions!