prairiesod3's Story

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"[My family history:] My great grandmother (cervical cancer, passed away at 52), grandmother (breast [cancer], passed away at 54), mother (breast [cancer] at 45, passed away at 48; she had HER2 but Herceptin wasn't available), and maternal aunt (cervical [cancer] at 20, had a hysterectomy; breast cancer at 46, did a lumpectomy and 5 years of tamoxifen...65 and alive!).

"I started self checks at 17 and mammograms at 36. I also fought for a month to get genetic testing done at 36 which the insurance company finally did pay for. I was diagnosed with a small basal cell carcinoma at that same time, as well. The test results were negative in 2011, so I called the insurance company to see if I could have the bilateral mastectomy and removal of my ovaries anyway. I was told no, the only way this would be approved is if I had cancer or a genetic marker.

"Six years later, here I am [diagnosed with breast cancer]. I had genetic testing in July for more markers and they were also negative. 44 years old, alive and kicking cancer out.

"The self checks came in handy, because my mammogram 6 months prior was negative. I have been having lots of educational talks with my 17-year-old daughter about screenings and self exams. There are so many new treatments from when my mom was diagnosed when I was 17 years old, too.

"I know this is crazy...but I wanted my testing to be positive. I don't want my daughter to have to go through the 'come back when you have cancer' line from insurance if she wants prophylactic surgery. I am also hopeful that we will have many more preventative treatments and better screenings, too."

-- prairiesod3, tested negative for genetic mutations

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