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DES Cancer Survivor Has Battled Cancer Six Times

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Batavia, IAOne can imagine the heartbreak and anger associated with taking a drug that had been on the market for 30 years and had been prescribed to millions of women, only to be later found to have a serious liability and removed from the market. Why did it take so long to get Diethylstilbestrol (DES) off the market? And why were these concerns not suspected sooner?

DES was a synthetic hormone long held as effective prevention against miscarriage. However, DES was removed from the market in 1971 after it was found to have been linked to rare vaginal cancer in the offspring of women prescribed DES.

Marylou LaRose is a product of DES pregnancy. Her mother, who had ten children in total, was above 40 years of age and had not given birth in five years when she became pregnant with her youngest child. According to Marylou, who contributed her story to The Ottumwa Courier (10/15/12) in association with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, her mother was deemed a high risk for miscarriage and prescribed DES. According to Marylou, her mother was told taking DES to prevent miscarriage was "perfectly normal and safe."

However, Diethylstilbestrol turned out not to be safe for Marylou, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 19. She survived that challenge, only to be hit with a diagnosis of cervical cancer five years later at age 24. "Again, more surgery, more chemo, and thankfully no radiation at that time," Marylou told The Courier. "I again survived."

But it wasn't over yet for Marylou, who is a so-called 'DES Daughter.' Over the ensuing 24 years she has been diagnosed with uterine cancer, DES breast cancer, and melanoma. Marylou is of the belief that all these diagnosis related to DES cancer.

"I believe each cancer was directly caused by the DES my mother was given to promote a strong, healthy pregnancy," Marylou told The Courier.

Many a DES attorney has been inundated with inquiries about DES cancer stemming from a DES pregnancy on the part of their mother. The relationship between Diethylstilbestrol and cancer is also, according to advocates, extending in some cases to the grand daughters of women prescribed DES across the 30 years Diethylstilbestrol was actively on the market.

It is estimated that more the six million women were prescribed DES for miscarriage prevention. Therein lay the possibility there could be millions of DES daughters adversely affected and at risk, in this way.

It is not known if LaRose is participating in a Diethylstilbestrol lawsuit. It should be noted that the Batavia woman has been diagnosed with DES cancer no fewer than six times, with two battles against ovarian cancer??"the latter representing her first, and her most recent diagnosis of DES cancer. LaRose has been cancer-free since 0ctober 13, 2010.

LaRose notes that her nine older siblings were not affected by Diethylstilbestrol, as theirs' were not a DES pregnancy.


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Posted by

Not only have I been affected by my mother taking DES, but my daughter and her sons as well. Because of the exposure, I was told at 17 I needed a radical hysterectomy. was followed at the DES clinic at Stanford (and all the embarrassment and pain that entailed (being examined by teams of residents every month, colposcopies with punch biopsies of the cervix).

I was horrified in 1978 to find that DES was routinely injected into cattle to make them eat more and thus get fatter.

DES was one of the most wide reaching catastrophes for both male and female progeny. Not just for cervical and ovarian cancer, but a general dysfunction of all reproductory systems.

Posted by

While the story is compelling and more than reasonable, the fact there is no mention/omission in the report of any genetic testing/genetic mutation in the family only strengthens a possible argument for the defense. The media needs to be aware of and have the facts on hereditary cancer so they may correctly address this issue in any stories that may include this possibility. FORCE for FACTS on hereditary cancer.


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