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Making a Difficult Decision
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Making a Difficult Decision

Considering that both my mum and father has cancer, the chances of my getting cancer may be elevated - and according to what I read, the 'danger' age would be in my 40s. Ever since my mum has been diagnozed with ovarian cancer, I have been thinking very hard the 'best' timing to get a hysterectomy.  I am in my 30s, not married and do not have children. I am thinking that maybe when I turned 40, this would be the best 'time' to get a hysterctomy because it is about 5 years away where meopause would take place and by then, it would proably be too late to consider giving birth to a child. It is a hard decision - but the truth is that I have a 'higher chance' of getting ovarian cancer in the later part of my life - I have a 1st degree relative that has ovarian cancer, I have not given birth to any children and I have never taken oral contraceptives in my whole life.

I hoped I have not upset anyone by asking this question. To tell the truth, even typing this query sort of hurts me too since I am considering something that would put motherhood out of reach forever.
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6 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
I think a better solution would be to have your mom and dad genetically tested to see if they are genetic carriers. If their not your chances of getting cancer are no better than the general population. If they are, then you can be tested to see if you inherited the trait. This would be a good suggestion if you are that concerned. Don't worry about asking, this is the place for those kinds of questions.

Good luck and I am very sorry about your mom and dad.
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135691_tn?1271100723
Hi there...I have to agree with Casey in that you should really consider getting tested to see if your family carries the BRAC1 & 2 genes. They will give you a much more clear idea if you are at a greater risk. I also think you should be asking your doctor about getting regular transvaginal ultrasounds and CA125 tests when you have your physicals. Although neither of these tests are used soley to diagnose ovarian cancer, it can be a great way to montior you and have a baseline to compare future tests too. Don't think you put yourself at greater risk by the choices you've made. I had one child, no family history of cancer and took oral contraceptives for nearly 8 years and I still got ovarian cancer - some things in life just can't be explained! Make an appointment to sit and really talk with your doctor about all this...
Good luck...you haven't offended anyone by posting this!
Becky
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I'm so sorry that you even have to think about this!  I can read in your words that you are sad about the possibility of such a permanent option and feel that you have to choose between children or cancer.  I agree with Deb and Becky.  Talk to your doctor and ask if you can get tested for the genetic trait.  Getting the VUS is a good idea too.  

Who knows when the best time is?  Menopause doesn't come like clockwork and neither does cancer.  You are ahead of both at this point so I'm glad you are thinking about it beforehand but it just stinks that you are so young and have dealt with so much at your age already.  Choosing a hysterectomy will make natural childbirth out of reach for you but there are options for that.  I would talk with your doctor about every little concern you have.  Hugs.

Take care,
L  
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354706_tn?1279474395
Thanks for your kind thoughts. Once my mum is in a stable condition, I would talk to the doctors.

Hysterectomy don't really scare me. And realistically speaking, the child bearing years should be over once I reach my 40s. And while there are some wistful thoughts about motherhood, it frequently gets thrown out of the window after spending 20 minutes with my friends' children :-)

I have a friend whose mum and sister had breast cancer and was tested positive for BRAC1 genes. I hate to see her living with uncertainty and she is so sad and jumpy all the time. To her, mastectomy is out but without mastectomy means she is living with a time bomb. At least for me.....I cannot see my ovaries and would make it little difference to my physical appearance.

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Avatar_f_tn
I feel for your position, however having gone through a hysterectomy not by choice I would caution you that I think you may not have considered the hormonal affect this has. A mastectomy may be visual, however it has no affect on your hormones. A hysterectomy is another matter. It can have a tremendous affect on your physical appearance. Your breasts change (not for the better!), you often put on weight particularly across the middle and even your hair can change in texture etc. Your sex drive changes/goes. You would have the difficult decision of whether to forgo hormone replacement (as you don't have a tumour to test you can't tell if the cancer you may be susceptible to may be eostrogen receptive). You also do have the finality that you wont have children.
Personally I would much rather loose a breast, atleast you can have a prosthetic for that. Only you and your partner need to know any different.
I had a hysterectomy a year ago and I am still struggling to come to terms with most aspects of it. I wouldn't do it by choice when there are other tests available.
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415684_tn?1257332918
I agree with the above.  Have the genetic testing done first.  My dad had prostate cancer and that's it for most of my family until I came on with ovarian.  I am debating about the genetic tests for the sake of my 29 yr. old daughters, but they are not interested.  They feel they know to watch for it and don't really want to know for sure.  Everyone has different ideas, but a hysterectomy is far too serious a step at this point.  In 10 years, they quite possibly will have the perfect blood test to detect early ovca.  In the meantime, keep up with the regular check-ups .. and have your gyn watch with the Ca-125 and trans-vag us.

Good luck and God Bless,
Judy C
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