HOUSTON, TX- Women today seem intent on having it all– a great job, the perfect husband, an ideal life. It’s led to a lot of them postponing having kids.
“As they get older in their 30s, they’re now thinking they wanna get pregnant,” says Dr. Terri Pustilnik, a gynecologic cancer specialist with Texas Oncology, “but sometimes because they’re older, they’re now having to deal with other issues… such as cancer– cancer of the uterus, cancer of the ovaries, breast cancer.”
Pustilnik says in the last decade, her patients have demanded she change the way she treats cancer, “It’s more give and a take. Women are very educated. They search the internet. They often know alot about the process and the disease process before they come in.”
And they don’t wanna give up their chance at having children, like one of Dr. Pustilnik’s patients who came to her with stage 3 ovarian cancer. “The kind that she had was not very aggressive,” says the doctor, “and, therefore, we were able to leave the uterus in place and the other ovary in place, so that then she could pursue having a child, which was a very important part for her.”
“We are very black and white as doctors,” she explains, “If there’s cancer there, we want the cancer to be gone. But I think that for some people, having a family can be the most important thing that they ever do.” So when it’s not immediately life-threatening, delaying treatment can sometimes make life worth living.
For more on the robotic surgery method Pustilnik has become an expert in, check out this month’s issue of Houstonia (http://www.houstoniamag.com/news-and-profiles/people-and-profiles/articles/born-of-necessity-december-2013).