Personalized breast cancer treatment kept me in the race

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, but when I was diagnosed with it in November 2016, it didn’t feel that way. I was only 35 and single with no children. I was also globally ranked in the IRONMAN triathlon. Initially, I thought I wouldn’t be able to have children or do another IRONMAN. So having breast cancer treatment tailored to my unique needs was very important. I wanted doctors who would consider all the angles and let me be a part of the process. Because even if your cancer diagnosis is common, there are still a lot of choices and challenges that are unique to you. That’s why I absolutely love the doctors and staff at MD Anderson. They treated me as an individual, and were kind and empathetic. Even the people at the front desk remembered my name. Most importantly, my doctors took my age, lifestyle and goals into account, and developed a plan that fit me perfectly. And while it included some standard treatments (chemotherapy, double mastectomy, radiation therapy and breast reconstruction), the details were tailored to me. Step 1: Preserving my fertility after my breast cancer diagnosis A cancer diagnosis before age 40 presents some unique challenges, including potential fertility loss from chemotherapy. So, I met with Dr. Terri Woodard, who specializes in fertility preservation in cancer patients. She explained my options and told me what kinds of things I needed to think about before starting treatment. I decided to freeze my eggs. This was a complicated choice, because my cancer had tested 100% estrogen receptor positive. That meant the same...