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Topic: DES and Breast Cancer

Forum: High Risk for Breast Cancer — Due to family history, genetics, or other factors.

Posted on: Feb 5, 2008 10:15PM

Pat-I-Am wrote:

I had DES in 1961 to keep my daughter in the womb.  Now I have 2 1/2 times greater chance of breast cancer--and got it in both breast and have had bilateral mastectomy.  My daughter has had cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, and her ovaries and uterus removed.  She has breast crystallization and is being watched carefully for breast cancer.  Some researchers are even looking a the next generation--the granddaughters of DES mother.  I am writing this because many women do not know about this possiblity in their medical record.  pat

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Feb 6, 2008 06:42PM twink wrote:

This is so sad.  If we only had a crystal ball and could foresee the impact of the things we do (take) in good faith.  I have a friend, also born in the 50's (like me), whose mother took DES. She's very watchful but fortunately hasn't run into any problems yet.  Good luck to you and your daughter Pat.  I hope everything works out well for you.

If you can't be kind, have the decency to be vague.
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Feb 6, 2008 08:43PM FitChik wrote:

Pat....Though I'm so sorry that you and your daughter have had such terrible and frightening repercussions from your having taken DES, it is clear that you did so in order to give her life. My own mother made the same choice and, if she hadn't, I most likely wouldn't have survived. So although I've had my own abnormalities and illnesses related to DES, including infertility and breast cancer, I'm deeply grateful that my mother did everything she could to give me life.

Choices made out of love are never wrong, no matter what.


"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." ~Nora Ephron
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Feb 7, 2008 03:35AM Sociologist wrote:

Hi Pat,

I'm a DES daughter. My mom had to take it after 2 miscarriages to keep me in for the long haul! I agree with Twink, it only we had a crystal ball...We had to make some hard choices when our youngest son (now 25) was 2 years growth delayed (at 6 he looked 4). He was given Humatrope (synthetic growth hormone) for 2 years to give him a shot of being over 5' tall (he now 5'6"). The downside of our choice to give him a better chance of having a somewhat "normal" life is that he's sterile. I agree with Marin as well. We just have to take comfort in knowing we did the best we could with what we knew at the time. Best of luck to you and your daughter.


Dx 6/14/2007, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, mastectomy 07/12/07; silicone implant 12/18/07; implant removal 06/22/09; lumpectomy on mx side 06/21/10, PAP flap 05/2012
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Feb 7, 2008 06:08AM Naniam wrote:


I took DES with both of my pregnancies in the 60's.  I had problems getting pregnant and then maintaining the pregnancy.  I knew I had taken it and at the time, we didn't know the risk to us or our children.  Would I have taken it now if I knew the dangers - maybe it is selfish of me but yes, to have had them, held them, enjoyed the journey through life with them, yes, I would.

My daughter is aware of the problems she could have- I took DES I think through the 3-4 month of my pregnancy.  Didn't take it as long with my son - his chance of testicular cancer has been increased by DES.

Did you take the DES to get pregnant or to maintain the pregnancy or both?  I took DES in 1968 and then in 1970.


Dx 8/18/2005, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 7, 2008 10:31PM Pat-I-Am wrote:

Hi Brenda--sorry I didn't check this sooner.  I  took the DES to maintain the pregnancy.  Thanks for replying.  Pat


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