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Ovarian & Breast Cancer Awareness Months

Posted Sep 17 2010 6:06am
 

Woman With Flowers

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month , which is followed by National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. It’s fitting these two are back-to-back, as women who get one are often at risk for the other.

Breast cancer runs in my family, though thankfully ovarian cancer does not. My mother, her sister and I are all breast cancer survivors. You no doubt know one or several yourself.

The odds of surviving breast cancer are high, though--as they say-- early detection is key. I was angry at myself, when I was diagnosed, for not having gotten a mammogram in several years, despite my family history. Had I been properly screened , and caught it earlier, I might have gotten away with just surgery and radiation, but as it was fairly advanced, I had to put myself and my family through months of chemotherapy.

All that’s behind me now, and I’m grateful for my health.

I did get tested for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes though, on the recommendation of my doctor. Turns out I do not have either one. If I did, I would have considered elective surgery to reduce my chances of getting ovarian cancer . That’s the cancer that really scares me.

For more about cancer, check out these sites:
•  Cancer.gov , the National Cancer Institute’s site, with information on clinical trials, alternative medicine treatments, and all cancer types.
•  Healthfinder.gov , a great starting point for cancer screening and prevention
•  Medlineplus.gov , where you can find all the latest health news

And encourage the women in your life (including yourself!) to take screening seriously and get checked.

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