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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Family history

Yesterday I posted information on how to do a BSE (Breast Self Exam). I shared how I have been checking my breasts regularly for as long as I can remember. Like many people, I'd been taught that my risk for breast cancer was higher because a family member had it.
My maternal grandmother
My maternal aunt
My maternal cousin
They all had breast cancer. That doesn't even include other cancers that "run" in my family. And 3 weeks before my diagnosis, my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer.

After my biopsy results came back, I sought out a doctor who would give me the personalized care I felt necessary to lead my cats team. I saw an integrative oncologist, a medical doctor (MD) with specialized training in complementary, functional, and integrative approaches, combining conventional and alternative therapies. It was her suggestion to run  genetic testing on me, to see if I'd inherited the BRCA gene mutation. I did not. My tests came back negative. My aunt also had this testing. Hers were also negative. If I understand this all correctly (don't forget, I'm not a doctor!), this means that neither one of us inherited the gene mutation putting us at risk for breast cancer. Yet we got it.

I think this is even more reason to check yourself regularly. Sure, there are other risk factors, but we don't seem to hear about those nearly as often as family history.

Photo: Just 2 weeks after my diagnosis came, my family headed to southern California for my cousin's wedding. This is a photo of my first cousins in attendance (there are 4 or 5 missing), plus 2 first cousins twice removed (children of one cousin) and the groom who just got married into our crazy family, God bless him. It was our grandmother that had cancer 30 something years ago. Then my aunt. Now me. How's that for statistics?

Here comes 2 reminders:
1- Check your breasts. Do it right now. If you don't know how, go back and read yesterday's post here.
2- ➡💗⬅ Your pink reminder to PRAY for all those suffering from and affected by breast cancer. Thank you.

While you're praying, would you mind praying for me as I go into see the ear, nose, and throat specialist about my nose bleeds and sinus pressure? I've been continuing to have both and a constant headache to go with it.

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