Skip to comments.I'm having my healthy breasts removed at 22 [not stupid or sick article]
Posted on 07/01/2004 6:28:06 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows
A young woman whose mother had her healthy breasts removed after it was found that she carried hereditary cancer genes is to undergo the same operation.
Becky Measures, 22, said she will have a double mastectomy after tests showed that she had a 90 per cent chance of contracting the disease in later life.
Her mother, Wendy Watson, became one of the first women in Britain to have a double mastectomy on healthy breasts.
The decision by Miss Measures, who works as a DJ on Peak 107 FM in Chesterfield, Derbys, is thought to be the first case of a daughter undergoing the same operation as her mother.
She said: "My mother had a double mastectomy 11 years ago although she hadn't got breast cancer and genetic tests at that time were in their infancy.
"It has been a major part of family life since I was very young. My grandmother and great grandmother died from breast cancer. At 22 it was a hard decision to make but I have grown up with it and I have just got to get on with it. My chances of catching breast cancer are minimal at the moment but as time goes on it would get more worrying.
"Before it gets to that stage it is better to get it out of the way. My boyfriend, family and friends are very supportive and it helps that my mum went through with the operation at 38."
She added: "Other family members have contracted breast cancer in their 30s and 40s so I have this large support network and the doctors have been fantastic. The surgeons carry out wonderful breast reconstruction jobs at the same time as the operation and their work is unbelievable.
"I have a lot to live for. This is my way of giving myself a future. A lot of women do not have the opportunity. I see it as a privilege."
Mrs Watson, 49, from Bakewell, Derbys, said: "When I had my double mastectomy it wasn't even recognised that breast cancer could be hereditary.
"When I discovered that nine family members had suffered breast cancer I went to my GP and asked what could be done.
"I had this awful feeling I was waiting to get breast cancer and hoping I had caught it in time."
After her operation, Mrs Watson set up the Genesis Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline for women.
She has recently sat on a panel for the National Institute for Clinical Excellence developing guidelines for women at high risk of breast cancer.
I hardly think breasts are as vital as legs.
It is more important that she be alive to raise her children than to die.
Society of Surgical Oncology:
Position Statement on Prophylactic Mastectomy
The SSO developed a position statement on prophylactic mastectomy in 1993 to guide insurance programs in determining coverage and help patients obtain reimbursement. The original statement was co-authored by Drs. Kirby I. Bland, Edward M. Copeland, and David P. Winchester and approved by the SSO Standards of Care Committee. The following position statement is an update of the previous 1993 statement by Drs. Douglas Reintgen, Armando Giuliano, and V. Suzanne Klimberg. It was approved by the SSO Executive Council in March, 2001.
INDICATIONS FOR BILATERAL PROPHYLACTIC MASTECTOMIES
(In Patients with a No-Cancer Diagnosis)
A patient without clinically or radiologically suspicious breast lesions or masses may have received recommendations for bilateral prophylactic mastectomies; only rarely is this radical extirpative approach indicated. An individual with nonproliferative disease of the breast (fibrocystic disease) should not be considered a candidate for mastectomy if a qualified pathologist has reviewed the tissue biopsies and confirmed the diagnosis.
Indications for consideration of bilateral prophylactic mastectomies are evident in specific clinical scenarios; a qualified surgeon and a pathologist should review these presentations. Informed consent is essential to properly inform a patient of potential risks and benefits of the procedure.
Clinicopathologic presentations that portend risk of cancer with a specific indication for bilateral prophylactic mastectomies include the following:
Atypical hyperplasia of lobular or ductal origin confirmed on biopsy by a qualified pathologist. This diagnosis takes on added significance if atypical hyperplasia is present in multiple sites in a breast of the ipsilateral breast and/or if it is bilateral.
Family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative, (especially a mother or sister, ) who is premenopausal and has had bilateral breast cancer (family cancer syndrome) or a known mutation of BRACA 1 or BRCA2 breast cancer susceptibility genes.
Dense, fibronodular breasts that are mammographically or clinically difficult to evaluate in a patient with either (or both) of the above clinical presentations . The combination of atypical hyperplasia with a family history of breast cancer implies significant risk (8-l0x) in excess of that of index populations.
Ideally, the patient should initiate the discussion, and more than one surgical opinion is desirable when the decision regarding the need for prophylactic mastectomy is considered. The opinion of a qualified surgeon familiar with the natural history and therapy of breast disease (cancer) is advised. Prior to any surgery, the patient should be informed of the breast cancer risk reduction that can be achieved with tamoxifen alone (~50%). Patients undergoing prophylactic mastectomy for suspected hereditary disease should consider ovarian screening or prophylactic removal, as well as colon screening.
Besides, he said "he may get diabetes". Wonder what he would do if the doctor told him he had a 90 percent chance of dying if he did not cut off his gangrene leg? Based on his other post, I would presume he would commit suicide on the spot since he said that she should just go ahead and kill herself now and be done with it.
Die? She doesn't have cancer. This was a preventative 'amputation' of her breasts based on her family history when she doesn't even have cancer at age 22. This kind of paranoid thinking is insane.
"Clinicopathologic presentations that portend risk of cancer with a specific indication for bilateral prophylactic mastectomies include the following:
Family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative, (especially a mother or sister, ) who is premenopausal and has had bilateral breast cancer (family cancer syndrome) or a known mutation of BRACA 1 or BRCA2 breast cancer susceptibility genes."
Junk Science Alert!
She was obviously well briefed by her "Free Health Care" provider.
You act as if the decision is an easy one. I don't think you have a clue.
She had something very unimportant removed that had a 90% chance of threatening her life.
But maybe you could answer a question I had when I read the article. Is breast cancer a problem that develops only in breast tissue, and is it possible to remove enough tissue to ensure that the subject will never develop cancer as a result of removing the breasts?
Thanks in advance for any information you can pass along.
I read it. So what? It doesn't mention age does it? It doesn't mention a girl 22 years old does it? I think she's nuts to have it done at that age before having children.
Some study results. Note that they did not have the genetic markers available. It is expected that more dramatic results would have been obtained if they were sorted on genetic markers also.
Just perhaps having children when you carry such a high risk of cancer, and passing that on to her kids, isn't a good thing. It is a very big part of my thinking. My grandmother had breast cancer. My mom died of cancer at 58, her sister died before her. Her other sister had breast cancer but has so far survived. Her brother died of cancer as well. Bad gene pool perhaps?
Sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. New cells form when the body does not need them, and old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.
Not all tumors are cancer. Tumors can be benign or malignant:
Seem the posts just before this one where studies show worth.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
Early breast cancer usually does not cause pain. In fact, when breast cancer first develops, there may be no symptoms at all. But as the cancer grows, it can cause changes that women should watch for:
A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.
A change in the size or shape of the breast.
A discharge from the nipple.
A change in the color or feel of the skin of the breast, areola, or nipple (dimpled, puckered, or scaly).
A woman should see her doctor if she notices any of these changes. Most often, they are not cancer, but only a doctor can tell for sure.
An abnormal area on a mammogram, a lump, or other changes in the breast can be caused by cancer or by other, less serious problems. To find out the cause of any of these signs or symptoms, a woman's doctor does a careful physical exam and asks about her personal and family medical history. In addition to checking general signs of health, the doctor may do one or more of the breast exams described below.
Palpation. The doctor can tell a lot about a lumpits size, its texture, and whether it moves easilyby palpation, carefully feeling the lump and the tissue around it. Benign lumps often feel different from cancerous ones.
Mammography. X-rays of the breast can give the doctor important information about a breast lump. If an area on the mammogram looks suspicious or is not clear, additional x-rays may be needed.
Ultrasonography. Using high-frequency sound waves, ultrasonography can often show whether a lump is solid or filled with fluid. This exam may be used along with mammography.
Based on these exams, the doctor may decide that no further tests are needed and no treatment is necessary. In such cases, the doctor may need to check the woman regularly to watch for any changes. Often, however, the doctor must remove fluid or tissue from the breast to make a diagnosis.
Aspiration or needle biopsy. The doctor uses a needle to remove fluid or a small amount of tissue from a breast lump. This procedure may show whether a lump is a fluid-filled cyst (not cancer) or a solid mass (which may or may not be cancer). Using special techniques, tissue can be removed with a needle from an area that is suspicious on a mammogram but cannot be felt.
If tissue is removed in a needle biopsy, it goes to a lab to be checked for cancer cells. Clear fluid removed from a cyst may not need to be checked by a lab.
Surgical biopsy. The surgeon cuts out part or all of a lump or suspicious area. A pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells.
When a woman needs a biopsy, these are some questions she may want to ask her doctor:
What type of biopsy will I have? Why?
How long will the biopsy or aspiration take? Will I be awake? Will it hurt?
How soon will I know the results?
If I do have cancer, who will talk with me about treatment? When?
When Cancer Is Found
When cancer is present, the pathologist can tell what kind of cancer it is (whether it began in a duct or a lobule) and whether it is invasive (has invaded nearby tissues in the breast).
Special laboratory tests of the tissue help the doctor learn more about the cancer. For example, hormone receptor tests (estrogen and progesterone receptor tests) can help predict whether the cancer is sensitive to hormones. Positive test results mean hormones help the cancer grow and the cancer is likely to respond to hormonal therapy. Other lab tests are sometimes done to help the doctor predict whether the cancer is likely to grow slowly or quickly.
If the diagnosis is cancer, the patient may want to ask these questions:
What kind of breast cancer do I have? It is invasive?
What did the hormone receptor test show? What other lab tests were done on the tumor tissue, and what did they show?
How will this information help the doctor decide what type of treatment or further tests to recommend?
The patient's doctor may refer her to doctors who specialize in treating cancer, or she may ask for a referral. Treatment generally begins within a few weeks after the diagnosis. There will be time for the woman to talk with the doctor about her treatment choices, to get a second opinion, and to prepare herself and her loved ones.
Information provided by the
National Institutes of Health
Article Created: 1999-06-02
Article Updated: 1999-10-29
Enough. There's no point in discussing this further since you don't read well or comprehend my point which is related to timing of this for a girl only 22.