Women's Health

Cancer Conundrums

Advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are helping women live longer, healthier, happier lives. That is news to cheer about, for sure. But those breakthroughs have also opened the door to decisions that don’t have easy answers. Ashley, Sara, and Cindy each navigated tricky situations. Now they’re bravely facing a new normal—and sharing all.

“I grappled with my choice, but it was one my mom never had.”

Weeks before my high school graduation, my mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She was just 48. When shepositive, which significantly raised my risk for breast and ovarian cancers. My oncologist discussed hormone therapy, regular monitoring with time-consuming testing, or preventive removal of both breasts—on their own or with my ovaries. I felt this was aggressive, but then she said something that changed my perspective: “Your mother didn’t have options, but you do. I want you to explore them.”

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