( Snagged from FB)
I had to go see the Oncologist...
and I don't have cancer.
If that isn't a "tickling the dragon" situation,
I don't know what is.
I must say it was an interesting conversation.
I learned about gene markers...
specifically for breast cancer.
BRCA1 and BRCA2
are the markers that are a concern for me.
I didn't even know that there was a BRCA2.
I also learned about family history types.
I have a family history that is NOT typical of what
the oncologist says normally causes concern.
Not that I should not be concerned, he finished.
We need to be curious about my history.
My mother and two of my sisters have had breast cancer
in varying stages when caught with varying results...
and varied treatments.
Breast cancer does run in some families.
What is unusual in our family is that
there is no other cancer anywhere on either side.
Family history of breast cancer almost always
has other family members who have had ovarian cancer...
as well as breast cancer.
The two cancers are linked genetically.
This is a positive note.
he wants me to question my siblings...
and ask them to give blood samples for the gene work.
I have no doubt at all, that they will cooperate.
The lab will separate out the BRCA 1 & 2 genes.
They will look for a mutation in them.
Then they will match my genes to theirs...
and hope that the mutation is not present.
I have a 50-50 chance on that.
Not as scary as I thought it would be.
A nice man with a professional ballerina daughter.
Which has nothing to do with anything.
But his walls are full of photos of his happy dancer.
I liked him.
He was serious without being stoic.
He was kind and very open to explanation and
all my silly and not silly questions.
It was a good educational experience.
Nor did he push for me to do anything...
all up to me.
I learned that the reason that my mother
had an unusually high estrogen level was because
she was overweight.
The body stores extra estrogen in fat cells...
which is why being overweight is a cancer risk.
I also impressed him with my awesome anti menopause powers!
He says that most women go through menopause
around age 50.
He says this is good news for me,
as family history related breast cancer
usually shows up post menopausal.
Isn't this interesting?
Get yer fingers out of yer ears and stop saying
If you have not run away by now...
the good news is that I left feeling much better about things.
once I have the gene work done,
I may have to face that scary decision on what to do.
But now I have two options.
If I have the mutated gene of my sisters,
I can choose prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction
and they will built new nipples from the sensitive skin
down under... of the labia.
Not that this means that the nipples will work the same way.
I don't know and I didn't ask.
I was too busy hearing stupid and inappropriate jokes in my head about
my chest smelling like fish.
Or I can go for a chemical prophylactic treatment.
As in taking Tomoxifen.
This is the drug that works best for keeping breast cancer away...
but I know from my mother's experience
that it has a limited amount of time that it is effective...
then it ceases to help.
it did give my mother 11 extra years.
And there is always a chance that I am
my family anomaly
and the mutation will not even be there...
and I don't have to worry about it as much anymore.
I don't think there will ever be a time where I feel
comfortable thinking that I absolutely won't get breast cancer.
did you know that a prophylactic mastectomy
is only 99% guaranteed effective?
That's because the skin on the breasts
has little threads of breast tissue that go almost all the way
to the skin's surface through that layer of fat
and skin layers
that cover the breast.
It is possible to get breast cancer in the skin and fat on your breast!
I left the oncologist's office feeling pretty good about things.
It is always better to be informed
when you have major things confronting you.
Most women who do not have a family history of it
only have a 12% risk of developing
I am envious!