Setting new life goals after uterine cancer and a total hysterectomy

I’ve always wanted to be a mom. I became an aunt at a very young age, and I loved taking care of my nieces and nephews. I worked at a child welfare organization throughout high school, too, so kids have always been a part of my life. That’s why finding out I had stage II uterine cancer in August 2016 was a pretty bitter blow. By the time I was diagnosed at age 31, it had already spread to my cervix and both ovaries. My best chance at a cure was a total hysterectomy followed by radiation therapy. The surgery alone would send me into immediate menopause — and end my dreams of having biological children. Choosing to have the surgery anyway was not an easy decision, but it was one my husband and I agreed upon. I’m still making my peace with it. Some days, I am perfectly content. Others, not so much. The one thing I have no regrets about is going to MD Anderson for my uterine cancer treatment. It’s 600 miles away from my home, but three years later, I’m still here — and cancer-free — because of it. My uterine cancer diagnosis My husband and I had been trying to conceive naturally for quite a while by the time I was diagnosed. My regular gynecologist had been on my case for years to see a fertility specialist. I finally agreed in July 2016. The specialist performed a pelvic sonogram as a routine part of our first consultation. The scan revealed multiple ovarian cysts and several uterine fibroids. Since I have a history of ovarian...

Young adult cancer patients find help and hope with Adolescent and Young Adult Program

Georgia Wilson, 24, remembers the first time she shared her own cancer experience to help someone else. She was sitting in the lobby of MD Anderson’s Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic and traded numbers with another patient. She called her the next day, and they’ve been friends ever since. Wilson, an osteosarcoma survivor, says it was that moment last year when she realized she wanted to become an oncologist, and MD Anderson is helping her get there. The Adolescent and Young Adult Program not only runs the clinic, it also offers a range of support services, a scholarship fund, and opportunities to meet people who understand how lonely and isolating cancer can be for young adults. “MD Anderson provided me with a community of friends, nurses and doctors who influenced the way I’ll approach medicine in my future practice,” says Wilson, who learned she’d been accepted into medical school last spring while she was in the hospital surrounded by her care team. Serving young cancer patients’ needs, from fertility to psychosocial support “Our approach is to tailor supportive care services to their needs, whether that’s vocational counseling, oncofertility or genetic testing,” says Michael Roth, M.D. He and Andy Livingston, M.D., are the co-directors of the program. In its first year, the clinic has seen more than 500 patients, and demand is growing. The clinic team sees patients ages 15 to 39 with a current or prior cancer diagnosis. Patients get the clinic’s support in addition to the cancer treatment led by their primary care team. Patients can request a referral to the program from their care team at any...