Teri Woodhull's Page
So many pink and teal heroes in my life . . .
When my mother died in 1990 at age 46 of breast cancer her oncologist told us they were sure there some hereditary aspect to the the disease - although they couldn't prove it yet. My mother, her mother and her mother's mother, my mother's first cousin . . . all had developed breast cancer. Her oncologist encouraged us to seek out information regarding hereditary breast cancer risk.
A couple of years after my mom's death I learned that the Mayo Clinic was doing preventative mastectomies for women at high risk for breast cancer. So at age 30 I made the difficult decision to have this surgery. Keep in mind this was still before the BRCA mutations were identified. While I had terrific support from most friends and family there were some that questioned if I was "over-reacting" to my mother's death.
I thought about genetic testing once the BRCA mutations were identified but didn't pursue it because I thought I had done everything I could already with my prophylactic surgey. I was planning on being tested at some point for my children's sake but didn't think it was important for me.
In November 2010 when I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer it was a shock to learn the connection between hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Neither I (nor my doctors) had realized that if I had a BRCA mutation I would also have a significantly higher risk for ovarian cancer. If I had been tested earlier I would have taken steps to try to prevent the ovarian cancer . .. just as I had done with my preventative breast surgery.
FORCE has become very important to me. I don't want anyone else to NOT have the information that they need to make important decisions about their health. Knowledge and choices. . .
FORCE exists to raise awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. To advocate for the community affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. To promote research specific to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
Please consider a donation to help support the good work of this organization that means so much to me and my family.
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!