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Are you a breast cancer survivor who happens to be childless?



  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,166
    I hadn't heard of the saying Nun's disease. I just googled and found this link
  • Janet AJanet A Member Posts: 254
    Thank you interesting article! 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,951
    Great find, @iserbrown

    Also VERY interesting about the low incidence of cervical cancer in Nuns being noticed back then, to as it was never related to a virus back in those days!
  • Janet AJanet A Member Posts: 254
    Hello everyone,

    So there are a few of us on this forum who are childless. Do you think it takes some courage to come forward to say something? I am wondering about other women's thoughts on this?

    Cheers Janet
  • StorkStork Member Posts: 102
    I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last June fortunately stage 1small operation plus radiation treatment for 16 visits plus taking Tamoxifen for the next 4 years In June I will be having my yearly mammogram and ultrasound I also have no children having children or not having children has no bearing if a woman is diagnosed with Breast Cancer it is bad Karma/Luck, best wishes to all the women with BC  I find the forum supportive and helpful 
  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,205
    Hi @Janet A.  I would have to say that yes, it does take courage to say almost anything about being childless, in almost any situation.
    I know over the years I've come up with a couple of different throw away lines in response to the question "do you have children?", aimed at getting a laugh. But bringing it up myself, whether with people I know or not... rarely
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,951
    Hi @Janet A .... after marrying at 35, I was on the pill for quite a few years, then when I went off it, I just never got pregnant (probably because I was heading towards early menopause at 45?)  

    To be honest,I wasn't too upset about it, as I'd never really expected to have children anyway (and was a bit set in my ways) and hubby was older than me by 15 years. He already had 2 adult step-children & wasn't too keen to have babies at 50.  

    I always reckoned that my brothers & sister had already 'made up' for me - as two of them had 4 x children each & the other had just the one child.  

    A girlfriend, when quizzed as to why she didn't have children always said that she had 'bunchytop'!   When asked what that was - she replied - "You Know - it is when Bananas can't have Little Bananas!!"  That usually floored them & shut them up!   LOL   She went on to have 2 daughters.

    I can only imagine what women who really wanted children (but couldn't) have had to go thru tho.  My brother & his wife with the one child went thru numerous miscarriages prior to their one & only successful birth - after announcing the first one & losing it - they stopped telling people every other time they got pregnant, as they were never sure if it would be a viable pregnancy.  :(  

  • duxx1234duxx1234 BrisbaneMember Posts: 121
    I have read these posts with great interest. I do have three children but didn’t breast feed at all and I have read somewhere that there may be a correlation between non breast feeding and breast cancer.
    it was certainly a question that was asked of me during my first appointment with me breast surgeon.  My reason for not breastfeeding were that I have very fair skin and I have inverted nipples.  Also there wasn’t the great emphasis 41 years ago on breastfeeding and I tried but it was all too hard, so I opted for the easier option for me. I then went on to bottle feed the next two babies.
  • Anne65Anne65 Member Posts: 347
    @Janet A I am 52 y.o. & was diagnosed Dec. last year with invasive stage 1 DCIS, no node involvement. Lumpectomy followed with clear margins so 16 doses of rad only with no chemo or HT. I have no children by choice & have reached menopause having gone off the pill a couple of years ago. I have been gene tested as my mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 39 y.o. & she passed away at 46 y.o. when i was only 4 y.o. The test came back negative but following advice from my medical team, I had my ovaries & tubes removed 2 weeks ago as a precaution & as my gyny onc said, "it was a no-brainer" with my family history & as I don't need those parts anymore!! I had been told that childless women have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer but didn't know any link with breast cancer. I find it hard to believe your surgeon said he didn't know anyone like you as going by the amount of women on this post, they are many of us! Good luck with your study xx
  • Janet AJanet A Member Posts: 254
    Hello everyone, funny that I am replying on Mothers Day.....lol. I have had a month away, it was my reward for coming through treatment, a dream I have had to travel to Italy, live in a little house in a little village by the ocean which I did. Before I left I wondered if I would have the energy for overseas travel again as I do make trips away often or when I can, I am happy to say all went well and in a strange way I feel I will now live on as a normal person would! If that makes sense!
    So many stairs in Italy and I am happy to say I walked just about every single one of them!
    I do want to thank everyone for their honesty and taking the time to reply to my question. I plan to continue my 'study' into the mysteries of why childless women are met with a certain hesitation when the question of are chlldless women at a higher risk to breast cancer and the statistics surrounded with that.
    A discussion I have had with Marianne, she has suggested that if there is enough interest that bcna will set up a group dedicated to women in our situation. I am asking if this would be something that would interest you? I am part of another group in the UK who support childless women, I would like to take it further and include breast cancer diagnosis perhaps with the support of bcna to assist us in our situation with useful links and advice? Maybe by setting something up resources will be made available for us to read. Marianne kindly sent me a couple of links to read for those that have completed IVF rounds and are concerned about possible links? I myself did 13 rounds and sometimes I wonder as you do. So many unanswered questions can plague your mind and really during treatment one really doesn't need more to think about!
    Let me know what you all think and thank you for supporting my post, so happy to find others in my situation. It's been a bit of a lonely road. xx 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,951
    WOW!  I am SO glad you've enjoyed your trip to Italy & that it has helped you back to normal!  That is awesome.  WELL DONE on doing all the steps!

    I grew up from age 7-11 in a boarding school run by Nuns.  I'd always heard that Breast Cancer was also called 'The Nun's Disease' - but don't actually recall any 'disappearing' at any given time ..... mind you, given that they all wore the same long black outfits with heads fully covered - when I was younger, they all looked the same to me!    Even the Priests wore long outfits - just not the veil - so as a youngster, couldn't always tell them apart!  LOL

    I wonder if any medical studies HAVE been done on any society of nuns?   THAT would be really interesting, as everything we're aware of - has just been 'hearsay' really.

    I am keen to join a 'childless group with BC' if it comes into being.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,612
    @Janet A Your holiday seems like a dream - how fantastic. 

    While not childless, I also sometimes ponder on whether IVF may have played a part.  Not that I would have done it any other way but I would like to know for the sake of my daughters.
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