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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Would You Do... Seriously?


When I was 35 years ago - I found a very large black spot on my left breast... I of course freaked due to my family history of cancer and immediately went to urgent care.... The urgent care doctor was also concerned and sent me for an emergency mammogram and ultrasound.. The finding came back that I had a blood infection and antibiotics took care of it... Because of my family history - the doctors advised me to continue having a yearly mammogram...

Last week two things happened.... On Wednesday - I had my 10th year in a row yearly mammogram and on Thursday - my mom had a double Mastectomy... (she is doing well - thank you all for your thoughtful prayers and encouragement)... Yesterday (Monday) - I received a phone call AND a letter in the mail from the Breast Center... It seems that my mammogram has an area that the doctor would like to evaluate further... I was told that I had a "high density" in my left breast ( an increase from last year) - A dense breast shows as white and cancer shows as white on the mammogram and it is very difficult to see if there are any abnormalities... Picture trying to see at a polar bear (cancer) in a snow storm (density)... Kind of tricky... So tomorrow - I am going back in for a 2nd mammogram and ultrasound... possibly a MRI too depending on the findings... To say I am a little concerned does not begin to scratch the surface...

I was reading about dense breasts - family history - and cancer last night and ran across an article from the National Cancer Institute regarding - Preventative Mastectomies.. I thought I would never consider it but... The article described the ideal candidate for this procedure... Do you think I fit? And would you do this?

*Previous breast cancer - No

*Family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer- Breast cancer - Yes, both maternal and paternal grandmothers, my mom, several aunts, and cousins. Ovarian cancer - Yes, aunt and cousin.

*Breast cancer-causing gene alteration - I do not know - (but will get tested if recommended)

*Lobular carcinoma in situ - I don't know - but I would not be surprised

*Dense breasts - Yes

*Radiation therapy - No

Key Points:

** Existing data suggests that preventive mastectomy may significantly reduce (by about 90%) the chance of developing breast cancer in moderate and high risk women.

** Dense breast tissue is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and also makes diagnosing breast abnormalities difficult. Multiple biopsies, which may be necessary for diagnosing abnormalities in dense breasts, cause scarring and further complicate examination of the breast tissue, by both a physical examination and mammography..

** large breast also make it difficult for a full visual ( I am a DDD)

*** Please note - this and any medical decision should be discussed with your doctor....

What Would You Do... Seriously?

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20 comments:

  1. My mom had breast cancer about 20 years ago. Several years back I had to have a benign cyst removed and then just last year again. So far everything is looking ok, but I have to get a mammogram yearly.

    If I were you I'd wait and see what these tests results say. Needless to say, it's very scary and I know just how you feel. Good luck!

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  2. Good luck with all your tests, I know how worried you must be.
    Dawn

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  3. That is scary.... I would wait for more results. But the idea would probably cross my mind too.

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  4. The idea would cross my mind, but I would talk to my doctor first. I've thought about it with my own family history, but I'm not quite there yet.

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  5. WOW tough question! And I'm not sure how to answer it. Part of me says 'oh yea, these are coming off, rather be safe than sorry.' and the other part of me is saying,'don't rush it, see what the doctor says and recommends.'
    Sorry no help here since I'm 50/50....

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  6. I would see what the Doctor said but I sure wouldn't rule it out!

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  7. Test for th marker and weigh your choices carefully. Your in my thoughts.

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  8. In my opinion, the thing to remember is that you and your doctor are on top of it. That's important because should it be anything to worry about, you'll get it taken care of immediately. But you already know that because your mom is going through it. If it were me, I would talk to my doctor to see what he/she recommends but I would be hesitant to take such a drastic step as a preventative measure. I've heard that there are other ways to check for breast cancer ... I believe ultra-sound is one method. I would definitely talk to my doctor about using these other means of examination in addition to a mammogram. I'm guessing (and hoping) that a follow-up exam will simply reveal that the density is caused by one of the other reasons you mentioned. Hang in there!! Sending you a bunch of positive energy!!

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  9. Panic! That is what I would do!!!
    I am praying for you and your mother!
    Keep us posted!

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  10. You and your mom are in my thoughts and prayers.

    The View had a well known (think news reporter) person on who had both her breasts removed and she did Not have cancer. She did it as a preventative measure. I would probably really think about it and would lean towards doing it.

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  11. I'm praying for you and your mom! What a hard decision to make. Thanks for hopping over to my blog today, http://4mykiddos.blogspot.com

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  12. Hello, New to your page. I just wanted to pass along good thoughts and that what ever you decide, it will be the right thing for you.

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  13. I would also test for the marker and talk to your doctors. I'd get a couple medical opinions. I got called back last year for a second view, and I was pretty darn skeered. They did another mammogram on the one side (with smaller squish paddles), then they did an ultrasound. They also told me I have dense tissue, so it can be hard to really see what's going on in there. Take a breath. Try not to get too worried. You're going every year and doing what you're supposed to. I'll be thinking about you and your mom.

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  14. I think if I tested positive for breast cancer gene, and there was that much history in my family; I would most definitely have a preventative mastecomy. Boobs are something I have, not what defines me; but my family is my life. I want to live a long life to enjoy them, and their future. It is an individual choice, and one of which I hope you, nor I ever have to make. I am thinking positive thoughts for you my friend Kelly, and sending lots of prayers your weay.

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  15. Its all on how you view it - if you decide (and really its your decision, and your decision only!) to do a double mas, its up to you and your attitude. If it means less worry every darn year, movie star re-constructive perkiness, and less backaches, personally i would do it, but know that the process of getting there still does not mean I wont die, its just one less issue to stress me out.

    But then i also had a radical hysterectomy when i was 38, and I still have to have required Ca 125 tests done every year - but its up to me on how I want to live my life, and with what attitude (and i got plenty of attitude to share lol)

    Good luck on your decision and know whatever you decide, it will be the right one for you! (((hugs!)))

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  16. Kelly, I'm praying for you and your mom. Share your concerns with your doctor. I know that you'll make the best decision for you. I think that it is an option that I would take seriously if I was in your position. Sending my love to you. - Kelly

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  17. I would talk to several doctors before I decided anything. I honestly think, for me, If my breasts were healthy, I'd keep them.

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  18. First of all..all my love going out to your Mom! She'll be in my continued prayers.

    Wow! How scary this whole week has had to have been on you! This is something you're going to have to really think about and get lots of medical feedback in regards to!

    I'll start having MRI's done every few years instead of a mammogram. (I was told that since I have breast implants, this is the way to go.) Anyone with info on that...drop me an email please?

    Keep us posted!!

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  19. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Returning the favor with a follow ♥
    http://www.thejobofmommy.blogspot.com

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  20. I could have sworn I left a comment here already but now I don't see it! I had mentioned a book and was coming to tell you that I found the book. It's called Pretty Is What Changes and it's about a woman who had an elective double mascectomy. If you'd like for me to send it to you, I'd be happy to. Just send me an email. (puttingthefunindysfunctional@gmail.com)

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