Navigation Links
More High-Risk Women Preempt Breast Cancer
Date:12/3/2008

Growing number with genetic, familial susceptibilities opt for double mastectomy

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- SheKayla Love, 26, of Dallas, had the first cyst in her breast removed when she was just 14, the second when she was 19.

By the time she found the third lump, she was 25 and had watched her grandmother die of breast cancer (after being diagnosed at 55) and her mother endure both chemotherapy and radiation after being diagnosed with the same disease and undergoing a full mastectomy at age 45.

Love's first two cysts had come back benign, but a mammogram revealed the third one to be ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), when abnormal cells appear in the lining of the breast duct. The condition can turn into cancer.

She had had enough. Last year, after intensive praying and consultation with her family and doctors, Love underwent a preventive bilateral mastectomy.

"I was with my mom when she was going through all the doctor's appointments, the radiation, the chemo, just seeing her and the pain she went through and her hair falling out, the more I thought about it, I've had this going on for so long I don't want to get to that point that I have to go through that and, not only me, but if I have children, I don't want to put them through that."

Love is a "previvor." Her odds of developing breast cancer have now plummeted by about 90 percent, and she joins a growing cadre of women who opt for some kind of preemptive strike against higher odds of breast cancer.

Many of these women, like Christina Applegate, test positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation which puts them at heightened risk for developing breast cancer and others (like Love) because they have a significant family history of the disease.

Applegate was diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast but opted to have both breasts removed in August. She is undergoing reconstructive surgery.

"We've been seeing it for a long time," said Dr. Claudine Isaacs, medical director of the Cancer Assessment and Risk Evaluation Program at Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. "There are studies that exist that show [a double mastectomy] is associated with a greater than 90 percent reduction in developing breast cancer."

In addition to having both breasts surgically removed, women intent on prevention can also choose to have their ovaries removed before menopause (which also lowers the risk of ovarian cancer) or for hormonal management taking birth control, tamoxifen or another drug to cut their risk.

Intensive screening is another option, Isaacs said. "This isn't going to prevent it but you hopefully are going to pick it up at its earliest stages," she said.

But the prevention route certainly seems to be gaining acceptance.

"I think what has recently changed is the acceptance of the technology. Genetic testing for breast cancer has been around for a while but wasn't approved by insurance companies," said Dr. Ricardo Meade, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with Baylor Medical Center in Dallas. "With molecular genetics, you are able to predict your risk for developing breast cancer, also your risk for ovarian cancer. You have unlocked your own genetic code, and you're predicting what the chances are for your future."

"This is very difficult, because the sickness hasn't even come up yet," Meade continued. "All you're seeing is that you might be programmed to potentially develop breast cancer, an 85 percent chance in a lifetime [in the case of a BRCA mutation]. The previvor is the patient that takes action against this and tries to counter this by having the operation before the cells start acting. . . She is potentially avoiding chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and those are two of the hardest things that a human has to go through."

Love learned she had DCIS on Sept. 4, 2007, and underwent surgery on Oct. 23. During the intervening weeks, her doctors told her the mass had already spread, although it was still localized.

"I feel I made the right decision," Love said. "If they had taken [the mass] out, they wouldn't have gotten it all."

Love gets a check-up every six months and will continue that until November 2009, when she will start annual check-ups.

"Women should just make sure they do the monthly exam themselves, and if you feel anything, even if you think it's nothing, let a doctor know," Love advised.

More information

Breastcancer.org has more on bilateral mastectomies.



SOURCES: SheKayla Love, Dallas, Texas; Claudine Isaacs, M.D., medical director, Cancer Assessment and Risk Evaluation Program, Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, D.C.; Ricardo Meade, M.D., plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Baylor Medical Center, Dallas


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Antioxidants show no clear benefit against cardiovascular events, death in high-risk women
2. High-risk behaviors could lead to HIV epidemic in Afghanistan
3. New clues to breast cancer development in high-risk women
4. Generic prostate drug helps find high-risk cancers early
5. Study finds strong demand for HIV meds after high-risk sex
6. State of Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Services Selects U.S. Care Management for High-Risk Obstetrics Health Management Program
7. AST Emergence to Convergence Highlights the Latest High-Risk Organ Donor and Recipient Issues
8. Heavy drinking, conduct disorder linked to high-risk sexual behavior
9. Study finds outcomes of high-risk cancer operations in 80-year-olds worse than reported
10. Molecules might identify high-risk acute-leukemia patients
11. Vitamin D May Curb Falls in High-Risk Older Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... solutions for contaminated soil, dredged material, and hazardous and non-hazardous materials announced today ... Allentown, Pennsylvania. This acquisition will add four additional processing facilities and a ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) has named ... in their 12th year, are among the most prestigious in radiology marketing because a ... were retooled to recognize achievements in both large budget (over $5,000) and small budget ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Shamanic healer ... for Shamanic Healing and Spiritual Awakening, proudly presents her Sacred Peru retreat ... This sacred and spiritual journey during the Summer Solstice will also be her ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... The ... and White Plains, N.Y., is pleased to announce Westchester resident Lauren C. Enea has ... law clerk for the firm, will concentrate her practice in elder law, Medicaid planning ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... “Finding Christ ... #TruthwithGrace”: a devotional journal chronicling the writer’s path toward true communion with God. ... with God #TruthwithGrace” is the creation of published author Lea Michelle Johnson, a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Deep ... to their offering. ... The Deep Learning: Drug Discovery and Diagnostics Market, 2017-2035 report examines ... deep learning solutions within the healthcare domain. Primarily driven by the ... solution to generate relevant insights from medical data. ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 Today ... Equipment stocks, which are: Neovasc Inc. (NASDAQ: NVCN), Hologic Inc. ... Inc. (NASDAQ: SSH ). These companies are part ... prior gains on Thursday, March 23 rd , 2017, with ... while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017  Eli Lilly ... announced plans to invest $850 million in its ... facilities across its U.S. enterprise, including research laboratories, ... investments are being driven by demand for Lilly ... potential medicines in development targeting cancer, pain, diabetes ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: