Thursday, 16 May 2013

The C Word

No! I don't mean that word! I mean the other C word - a far nastier, more vicious and destructive word - Cancer.

I found out yesterday that an old school friend has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is the same age as me (37), has 3 small children under 6 which have all been breastfed, and has no family history of it. She went to the doctor about a back problem, and mentioned in passing that one of her breasts fell a bit hard. The doctor referred her for tests to be on the safe side, and they found a very large lump, which had been there for a while. She is shortly to start chemo. She seems to be dealing with it all exceedingly well, and has a very positive attitude, so fingers crossed all will be well eventually.

This news totally shocked me, as I do have a family history of breast cancer. My granny died of it, and two of my aunts have recently been treated for it (and succesfully fought it so far). It seems to be late-onset breast cancer as all three have not developed it until their 70s and early 80s.

Here is my dilemma. Do I keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best, and deal with it if and when it comes (most likely not for a few decades yet)? Or do I try and get one of those genetic tests done that tells you the likelihood of you developing it?

Angelina Jolie has been all over the media this week, regarding her decision to have a double mascectomy. I think she is an inspiration. For someone so keenly in the public eye, whose career is largely based on the way she looks, I think it is an immenely brave thing to do. By writing about it, she has single-handedly brought breast cancer awareness to the masses.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning to get some hayfever medication for the season. I think I may just mention my family history to him while I am there...

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