"My Battle with Breast Cancer"
"I Want to Keep My Breasts!"
The counselor reviewed Kristin's options: frequent screenings to try to stay one step ahead of cancer, or a double mastectomy, which would reduce her risk of developing breast cancer to less than 1 percent, and then later an oophorectomy in which doctors would remove both ovaries. What was scariest, Kristin says, was how matter-of-factly the information was delivered: "'At about 40, we'll remove your ovaries....' I was like, whoa, you're talking about my body here!"
If Kristin didn't have the double mastectomy, starting a family would be complicated, the counselor told her. The hormonal cascade set off during pregnancy could make any cancer cells in her body multiply. Not only that, but she wouldn't be able to have a mammogram while she was pregnant, which would mean at least nine months without screening for cancer.
Kristin felt numb. "I talked myself down," she says. "I thought, it's okay, I'll just get screened more often. And if I have to have my breasts removed, I'll do it down the road, after we've had children." She left the counselor's office and went home and crawled into bed.
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