Before I had my complete hysterectomy, my doctor advised me to have my uterus removed because of endometriosis. So I took that as a given. But my ovaries were another story. I didn't think I needed to have them removed, but my doctor was very persistent.
He scared me by giving me some statistics. He said that 20% of his patients who didn't have their ovaries removed came back to him later with ovarian cancer. He strongly advised me to remove my ovaries for this very reason. Based on that statistic, I took his advice. Plus, there was the fact that a very close friend of mine had died of ovarian cancer.
In retrospect, though, my doctor didn't sit down with me and go over the pros and cons of having a complete hysterectomy and I wasn't smart enough to question him. All I knew was the ovarian cancer statistic. I didn't understand the implications of no longer having ovaries that produced the hormones I needed to function and to have a normal life.
What I've discovered since my surgery is that you can still get ovarian cancer when you have no ovaries. Can you believe that? Even when your ovaries are removed, there still may be cells left behind that can develop into cancer.
We're being misled -- this is a prime example of the misinformation that exists out there and the fact that we don't know how to advocate for ourselves. I'm not sorry that I had to go through all of this because it's taught me that we shouldn't take those decisions lightly. I wouldn't change anything now because I can take what I've learned and now share it with women around the world.
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