Saturday, 25 May 2013

A Tough Question

Last night this question came up from my sister-in-law:  Would you be tested for the breast cancer gene?

She said no.  She doesn't want to know if she's probably going to get breast cancer, she just wants to live her life.

I'm not so sure though.  I guess my main question was what would happen if I tested positive.  If I tested positive at say age 35 after having children, would our health care system pay for a hysterectomy, mastectomy and breast reconstruction?  If so, then I would consider being tested because I would be able to do something about the situation to prevent the cancer. 
Angelina Jolie Has Bravely Completed a Double Mastectomy

On the other hand, if it wouldn't be paid for, (which I'm guessing it wouldn't, because it's unlikely the government wants to shell out money for preventative measures), then I don't think I would have the testing done.  We aren't all Angelina with enough money to cover all of these surgeries.  And as much as breasts are just an appendage (or so I keep telling my husband), they are a symbol of your femininity.  If I had breast cancer than sure, take them off.  (I know it still wouldn't be easy, but I would do it).  But to have them removed for the off chance that you might get breast cancer?  That would be tough.  So basically, I would require some sort of reconstruction as well. 

So it's a tough question.  I guess it's like knowing your future.  Do you want to know, or would it affect your life and your decisions too much?  What would you do?

1 comment:

  1. I've been thinking about this lately, too, since breast cancer runs in my family. I feel sort of morally conflicted about the whole thing. If I tested positive for the gene, I don't think I would do the surgery. It seems like it would make sense to get screened more frequently, though. Maybe 2x a year instead of just once? It will be interesting to see what medical advancements happen in the next 10 years, and what insurance covers.