That may seem like an odd statement. I get it. Who wants to have a predisposition for breast cancer?
Well given that I already had breast cancer, for me this news is more of an explanation. Where before I asked, “why did this happen to me?”, I now have perhaps one good reason to add to the mix.
There are several predeterminate factors that are correlated with breast cancer.
Of course there is family history of breast cancer, of which I have none. I do have one maternal aunt who died from leukaemia long before I was born, but that’s it.
Age is a factor as well, but I think most would agree that at 36 I am too young to be dealing with cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, lifestyle factors such as having children before age 30 and breastfeeding will reduce a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. Well I had four children by the age of 31, beginning at age 22. I nursed all four of them for at least 6 months.
Excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and low levels of physical activity are all contributors to breast cancer. Also not a fit for me.
It is frustrating to hear all of these so-called contributing factors and have none of them fit me. I want things to make sense. And while I have taken on the philosophy that this happened to me because it needed to happen to me (more on that here), I still always wondered why medically it happened to me.
Well today I have one more piece of the puzzle.
I just read this article on the birth control injection. For those of you who don’t know, Depo-Provera was a desirable form of birth control a few years back because it was so low maintenance. Go in once every three months for an injection. Painless. No brainer. No worries of forgetting to take a pill. Added bonus, no periods for most women on it.
I took Depo-Provera for years between the birth of my boys in 1999 and the birth of my daughter in 2005 without much of an issue. I went back on it in 2006 for 1 or 2 shots and had several more negative side effects than before so I stopped.
Anyway, this article points to evidence that “Depo-Provera has been shown to more than double a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer”.
Yikes! What does this mean for me going forward?
Obviously, I cant change the past. I can educate others on the facts though. I can and will also be much more leery of new medications being offered. This evidence just adds to countless other studies that have shown approved drugs to have very detrimental side effects after being released to the public too soon. More testing needs to be done on pharmaceuticals. Better yet, if at all possible, avoid using them!
Most importantly, it is ultimately up to you and I to take more of an initiative to advocate for ourselves, become educated, and not just take someone’s word for it that a drug or treatment is the way to go.