In honor of Previvor Day I though I would share what it means to be a previvor for those that aren’t aware, and what being a Previvor means to me.
The Previvor Origins:
The non-profit organization FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) coined the term previvor 11 years ago. Feeling that there was a strong need to recognize those that were at high risk of cancer but haven’t yet developed the disease the term Previvor was born.
What’s In A Name:
A previvor is an individual who is or has survived a predisposition to cancer but who haven’t had the disease. These individuals include those that carry a hereditary mutation, a strong family history of cancer, or some other predisposing factor. The term specifically applies to the portion of our community that has its own unique needs and concerns separate from the general population, but different from those already diagnosed with cancer.
Why I Previve:
Being a Previvor means never being alone. Before I heard of previvors I like so many other felt Isolated. Having been given this life changing news and feeling like I don’t fit into the cancer survivor’s tribe seeing as I haven’t actually had cancer, but here I am at 28 years old about to have both my breasts removed.
I have never regreted my decision to under go a profolatic double masectomy, but just because I am choosing to greatly reduce my risk of cancer by having surgery dosent diminish the fact that these decisions aren’t easy. That being said, I am incredibly proud to say that I am a Previvor, or at least I will be come December when I have my profolatic double masectomy surgery.
To me, it means being proactive and facing my genetic risk head on, and choosing what’s right for me not letting cancer dictate. It means sharing my story in the hopes of educating and empowering others.