U is for Uterine Cancer
This is my U post for yesterday – A day late, but better than never!
U is for Uterine Cancer. Some studies show that BRCA mutants have an increased risk of uterine cancer (also known as edometrial cancer) and other studies show that we aren’t. This makes me a little nervous! It’s one of the reasons I elected to get rid of my uterus along with my ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Though on a slightly unrelated side note, I now can’t help but wonder if it would have been okay to have just my fallopian tubes removed and not my ovaries! After reading this study that ovarian cancer starts in the fallopian tubes, not ovaries. Though this thought was out there when I had to make my decision of exactly what to have removed, I felt it best at the time to just get rid of all of it.
I’ve known of several BRCA positive women who’ve been diagnosed with uterine cancer, so it’s hard for me to not wonder about the connection to our BRCA genes.
The good thing (if you can call anything about cancer good!) about uterine cancer is that it’s typically caught early enough to be treatable.
Uterine Cancer Symptoms (according to PubMed health):
- Abnormal uterine bleeding, abnormal menstrual periods
- Bleeding between normal periods before menopause
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting after menopause
- Extremely long, heavy, or frequent episodes of vaginal bleeding after age 40
- Lower abdominal pain or pelvic cramping
- Thin white or clear vaginal discharge after menopause
I’ve come across a few articles that bemoan a woman’s decision to have prophylactic surgeries to lesson their breast cancer risk when drugs like Tamoxifen are available. Well, yes, this chemopreventation drug may help decrease our breast cancer risk, but a not so lovely side effect of it is uterine or endometrial cancer when used for five years or longer.
So in a way so much of what we do and decide feels like a crapshoot.
1.Informal . anything unpredictable, risky, or problematical; gamble.
We make the best decisions we can based on educated guesses that we form on current scientific data. I do believe it’d be detrimental to our emotional selves to go down the regret path. “If only I’d waited XX amount of time, I could have made a better choice!” As BRCA positive women, or BRCA mutants as I fondly refer to us as, we often feel like ticking time bombs and our choices are made in an effort to get to the cancer before it gets to us. While we know for a fact we have a highly increased risk of certain types of cancer, we can’t know FOR SURE if or when it will happen. All we can do is weigh our options against what we know and make the decisions we feel are best for ourselves and our families.
I do live in hope that one day it will be easier – hopefully for our children, and very hopefully for our childrens children!