The Title

“Previving and Thriving”… what in the heck does that first word mean?! Did you make that up?!


From the FORCE website…

“Cancer previvors” are individuals who are survivors of a predisposition to cancer but who haven’t had the disease. This group includes people who carry a hereditary mutation, a family history of cancer, or some other predisposing factor. The cancer previvor term evolved from a challenge on the FORCE main message board by Jordan, a website regular, who posted, “I need a label!” As a result, the term cancer previvor was chosen to identify those living with risk. The term specifically applies to the portion of our community which has its own unique needs and concerns separate from the general population, but different from those already diagnosed with cancer.

The medical community uses the term “unaffected carrier” to describe those who have not had cancer but have a BRCA or other cancer-predisposing mutation. The term applies from a medical perspective, but doesn’t capture the experience of those who face an increased risk for cancer and the need to make medical management decisions. Although cancer previvors face some of the same fears as cancer survivors, undergoing similar tests and confronting similar medical management issues, they face a unique set of emotional, medical, and privacy concerns.”

I just love that… “I need a label!” It’s so true. No I haven’t had cancer, and no I don’t want to take away anything from those that have – they are their own particular breed with their own stories that deserve so much respect. But I DO have something that deserves recognition, both from those in the medical field and those not, and previvor is certainly way more fun than “unaffected carrier” if I do say so myself! So that’s my “label,” per se – not to be defined by it, but to help redefine it myself… by “Previving and Thriving.” It’s amazing how it’s become commonplace – anyone who knows anything about BRCA mutations seems to know the term! It takes the mystery out of “well… I never had cancer… but… I’m not at ‘normal’ risk either…”

So there you go… Previving and Thriving… that’s what I intend to do, and this is my blog of doing it!