Fertility Preservation For Young Women With CancerIn a previous interview with SurvivorNet, Dr. Jaime Knopman, Director of Fertility Preservation at CCRM NY, explained that there are several fertility preservation options for young women dealing with cancer, and doctors have become more adamant in recent years about women who being treated with chemotherapy considering an option such as egg freezing. “It used to be that if somebody was getting a low-dose chemotherapy or one that wasn’t that toxic, we’d let is slide in terms of fertility more,” Dr. Knopman said. “Now we are more aggressive with freezing for those patients, because the reality is, you may unfortunately have a recurrence. If you have a recurrence, you may need more aggressive treatment, and then at that point you may not have to time to freeze. So, we talk about this with everybody.”
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Applegate’s History With CancerApplegate’s daughter was born three years after the actress underwent surgery for breast cancer, and six years before she decided to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. Since the BRCA1 mutation is inherited from parents, there is a chance that Sadie will carry it as well. And Applegate has spoken openly about how they handle that possibility at home. In a 2017 interview with Today, Applegate said she urges all women like her, who carry a BRCA mutation, to be really aware of their bodies — and that includes what goes into their bodies. “The first thing is to be really diligent about what you’re putting into your body, as far as what kind of food you’re eating,” the actress said. “Organic is expensive. I get that. I don’t want to alienate anyone who can’t pay for that. But maybe skip your morning latte and get organic vegetables for the week. Try to stay away from the foods that are filled with chemicals.” Applegate continued to say that in her household, they’re very diligent about how they eat. She and Sadie are both vegetarians, they grow their own vegetables, and try to keep stress levels down — even knowing that Sadie may have an increased cancer risk.
“The chances that my daughter is BRCA positive are very high. I look at her and feed her the cleanest foods. I try to keep her stress levels down. I’m doing everything I can on my end knowing that in 20 years, she’ll have to start getting tested,” the actress said. “Hopefully by then there will be advancements. It breaks my heart to think that’s a possibility.”
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Even with that knowledge, Applegate said that the family is doing well now. Recently, the actress even used her experience with cancer as motivation for her role in the 2019 Netflix series Dead To Me. She plays the role of Jen Harding — a character who is dealing with the loss of her husband as well as the loss of her breasts (the character was also a BRCA mutation carrier, and also underwent a double mastectomy). In previous interviews, Applegate has called playing the character “cathartic.” She also nabbed an Emmy nomination for the role.
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