This entry is part 07 of 44 in the series Breast Cancer Posts

I have Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. This is a condition where cysts have formed on my ovaries (both), which prevents regular periods. Symptoms include things like no menstruation (or, for someone with cysts on only one ovary, menstruating every other month), growth of facial hair, and an imbalance of hormones which, if I remember correctly, can cause menopause-like symptoms. I’m not sure on that though. It’s been a while since I read up on the condition.

Because of this, I took birth control pills in order to have a period. Because not having a period can be dangerous healthwise for a woman. The buildup of the lining in preparation of possible pregnancy each month needs to be sloughed off, and that doesn’t happen without menstruating. I think one of the possible issues is possibility of uterine cancer. There are others, I’m not sure what. Again, it’s been a while since I looked all this information up and I’ve forgotten most of it.

My PCOS may have been caused by the Depo-Provera shot I got while in the Navy. I liked that shot. I don’t know what it did to keep my uterus healthy, but it ended periods for a year, and I had a quarterly the next year. After that, I didn’t have any more periods. I think that’s when the PCOS started. So, whenever I could afford health care, I pretty regularly took BC pills to keep having periods. I’d been on the pill I’d been taking for about four or five years when I found the cancer.

I’m not longer taking birth control pills, and will have to take hormone suppressants no matter what else I do. I will be discussing things with my Oncologist and whoever else will listen to see about getting a full hysterectomy. I’m not old enough for natural menopause, and the last thing I need is to develop uterine or ovarian cancer, which are both possibilities if I’m not on hormones.

I can’t take BC pills any more because the tumor in my breast and on my lymph nodes was hormone receptive. That means it really liked the estrogen and progesterone it was getting from my pills. Going theory is birth control pills is the reason why I got breast cancer.