Why Kara Dioguardi Had Her Reproductive System Removed
Kara DioGuardi had seen what cancer could do to the women she loved — both her grandmother and mother passed away after battling breast and ovarian cancer. So when she happened to hear a story on the BRCA gene on a New York news station, she paid attention. The BRCA gene is found in women who have hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and is thought to be an indicator of the chances of developing these cancers later in life. Medical professionals have begun to recommend prophylactic surgery to women who test positive for either BRCA or BRCA2 mutation.
When DioGuardi discovered she had the BRCA2 mutation she choose to have her ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes removed to greatly reduce her chances of developing hereditary breast or ovarian cancer in the future. But the surgery put a chink in DioGuardi and her husband’s plans to have a child. The couple had been undergoing fertility treatments at the time of diagnosis, which were proving unsuccessful. After deciding on the removal surgery, DioGuardi and her husband were prepared to go the adoption route. However, they discovered that a friend was willing to be a surrogate for the couple and eventually welcomed a baby boy in January. While DioGuardi does feel some sadness that she will not experience carrying a child on her own, she says she is thankful for the medical advances that may have saved her life.
When I read this story on People, my heart really went out to DioGuardi. I also had a grandmother die of breast cancer and several other women in my family have suffered from some sort of cancer at points in their life. The thought of cancer is always in the back of my mind and I have seriously considered being tested for the BRCA gene myself. In my case though, I am done having children and having prophylactic surgery would not be as big of a decision for me as it probably was for DioGuardi. I am not sure I would have been able or willing to give up my choice to carry a child on my own in favor of removing my reproductive organs if I was not already done having children.
Would you have your reproductive system removed to avoid a cancer diagnosis?
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