Skip to comments.The DNA Age: Cancer Free at 33, but Weighing a Mastectomy
Posted on 09/20/2007 10:34:02 AM PDT by qam1
Her latest mammogram was clean. But Deborah Lindner, 33, was tired of constantly looking for the lump.
Ever since a DNA test had revealed her unusually high chance of developing breast cancer, Ms. Lindner had agonized over whether to have a mastectomy, a procedure that would reduce her risk by 90 percent.
She had stared at herself in the mirror, imagining the loss of her familiar shape. She had wondered, unable to ask, how the man she had just started dating would feel about breasts that were surgically reconstructed, incapable of feeling his touch or nursing his children.
But she was sure that her own mother, who had had chemotherapy and a mastectomy after a bout with the cancer that had ravaged generations of her family, would agree it was necessary.
It could be growing inside of me right now, she told her mother on the phone in February, pacing in her living room here. We could find it any time.
Waiting for an endorsement, she added, I could schedule the surgery before the summer.
But no approval came.
Oh, sweetheart, her mother said. Lets not rush into this.
Joan Lindner, 63, is a cancer survivor. Her daughter, by contrast, is one of a growing number of young women who call themselves previvors because they have learned early that they are genetically prone to breast cancer, and have the chance to act before it strikes.
As they seek to avoid the potentially lethal consequences of a mutant gene, many of them turn to relatives who share its burden. But at a moment when a genetic test has made family ties even more tangible, they are often at their most strained.........
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Brain cancer is a possibility as well. Remove the head.
Previvors = women with too much time on their hands....
Sometimes you just need to get a grip and stop listening to the scaremongers!
Won't make any difference, she's already brain-dead.
No kidding. My uncle died of a heart attack and my cousin of lung cancer. If I have those removed preventably . . .
There’s no testicular cancer in my family.
People should exercise, and eat well, and not take undue risks. But having this sort of preventative surgery is madness. In the end, something will get you. Make some peace with that and stop worrying.
Ditto. Mega ditto! LOL.
This woman’s faith in the “infallible” judgment of the medical community is amazing, and not in a good way.
lucky for you
For the man she just started dating.
“WARNING WILL ROBINSON! BRAIN DAMAGE! RUN AWAY!”
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She should go for the breast enlargements instead. Go out with a bang.
I firmly believe that in many cases cancers are triggered by worry and self-imposed stress. Like many Americans, this woman’s mind is going to be the cause of her own disease.
Ridiculous. I’m “at risk” for a heart attack or stroke. (family history) I think I’ll have a cardiectomy and a cerebrectomy .... just as a smart preventative measure.
Being at risk for something based on your family history that you cannot surgically fix at the moment is very different from having the BrCa genes. The odds are as high as 80-90% that a person with one of the BrCa genes will get breast cancer. Breast cancer is difficult to detect in a young woman, so an annual screening mammogram may not catch it in time. I haven’t been tested for the gene but my mother, grandmother, great aunt, 4 of my mother’s first cousins and 1 of her cousin’s daughters has had breast cancer. My doctor recommended I explore genetic testing and consider preventative double mastectomy. I haven’t done it for two reasons. If I test positive, I will likely never be able to get individual medical insurance again. Also, everyone in my family has survived breast cancer. I live everyday with the knowledge I am probably a ticking time bomb and my procrastination could turn out to be fatal.
I know someone who has done this. Judging from what I know of this person, I think there is a lot more going on psychologically than fear of breast cancer.
Faced with those odds, virtually removing the risk by having prophylactic mastectomies isn't really such a ridiculous choice, is it?