October is breast cancer awareness month. Everywhere I go, I see pink and that's a good thing. I don't mind paying a little bit extra for things that offer a worthwhile contribution with purchase. Breast cancer is a weight I carry on my shoulders.
My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at 44 years old. That's 7 years older than I am now. Even though she survived, every day I think about it and wonder how much sand my hourglass has left.
I could get tested for the BRCA gene, but I have my concerns. To be completely honest, I think about looking into it and then the idea gets lost in the chaos of daily life. However, I have read that people who test positive are thought to be 5 times as likely to get cancer.
If I got tested and it came out positive, what would I do?
I suppose the most logical thing would be to have a preventative mastectomy, oophorectomy and/or hysterectomy, depending on what my physician recommended. All of this is not without potential side effects and what have you.
Then there's how my insurance might react. I shiver thinking about this.
Even with my family history, I've had resistance when asking for an early mammogram. The last argument I heard was that mammograms are not very accurate for women under 40. I have my annual appointment in a month and intend to push for one yet again. I am religious about self exams, live a relatively healthy lifestyle (though I admit Diet Coke and wine can be vices) and take multivitamins. However, I would love to be checked from the inside out.
So for now, I'll start there. But I will investigate getting tested for BRCA. Have you been tested for BRCA or are you thinking about it?