Death from breast cancer

My eldest daughter, aged 28, died of breast cancer in May last year…

By J.N.

My eldest daughter, aged 28, died in May last year after four and a half years of mental and physical agony following a mastectomy and subsequent secondary tumours in her bones, then liver, lungs, and lastly her remarkable brain. I will always believe that the D.E.S. I was given during my early pregnancy, via injections and capsules, was largely responsible for my daughter's death.

The medication was prescribed because I had a "slight discharge" according to my medical history.

This belief (my daughter's problems being related to D.E.S.) is strengthened by the fact that she had several apparently hormone-related peculiarities during puberty, including an unusual vaginal discharge.

My daughter also took a contraceptive pill for some years and I believe this was a contributing factor. In fact she continued taking "the pill" even after the mastectomy until I drew her attention to notes on the packet which read: "If you have breast cancer or suspected breast cancer do not take this pill". Only after the specialist was alerted to this did she say that she felt perhaps my daughter should never again take the contraceptive pill.

Just as a matter of interest, my daughter at one stage was in hospital for treatment and was told by a chemist that it was important to find out what medication I had been given. When I told this to my present doctor, he delivered somewhat of a lecture to me on how unethical it was for someone to seek this information other than on a "doctor to doctor" basis.

What arrogance, when it was my and my daughter's bodies involved!

Published in our newsletter DESPATCH in 1989