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Last week, I heard that my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's the only child of my father's older brother, and nearly exactly the same age as I am (almost 40). We have pretty high risk-factors on that side of the family - our grandmother died at 72 of post-menapausal breast cancer, our aunt at 38 died of pre-menapausal breast cancer. I don't have the details of how far they thought the cancer had spread at the time of initial diagnosis, but I believe she made her treatment choice based on these risk factors, and went for a VERY aggressive response.

She elected for a full double masectomy, and the surgery was yesterday. According to my uncle's email, the procedure went very well and there was only ONE tumor, which was completely removed and had "good margins" meaning that it probably wasn't leaking cancer cells into the rest of her body. Only one lymph node was indicated, and that was removed along with two others. Biopsy results are expected Friday, at which point she will decide on her follow-on treatment plan.

I have not gotten to speak with her, but my assumption at this stage is that they found the one tumor, but given her family history she chose to have both breasts removed - all of the one with the tumor and the other still apparently healthy one - as a precautionary step to reduce the possibility of later spreading. It's a hell of a decision to have to make, and I think she's very brave to make it. I hope if I ever have to face the same thing that I will have the strength to make that same choice, as difficult as it would be.

So thanks everyone for the good thoughts. She's not out of the woods yet, but things look promising.
 

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I would have done the exact same thing, Ursula.

Prayers for a complete recovery. Please keep us posted.
 

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Ursula
Sounds like she made a good decision, next week will be 5 years that my mom is cancer free after having the same procedure. you have my prayers
 

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Sounds like a good decision - remind her what Christina Applegate said when she had both of her's removed (Everyone will be jealous of me in the nursing home...) And prayers continue.
 

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My mom did the same thing 4.5 yrs ago. Full double masectomy and breast reconstruction and has not any issues, knock on wood! Good luck to her and your family!
 

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Continued good thoughts.

I think I probably would have done the same thing in her shoes.
 
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