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BREAST CANCER QUESTION FOR ONCOLOGIST
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An_188661 posted:
I have stage I breast cancer, tumor size 1.6CM, lymph nodes negative, clear margins, hormone positive, HER2 negative. I had a lumpectomy done and am debating whether I should have chemo. The Oncotype DX test assigned a 12% recurrence and a score of 19 which puts me in the intermediate range. I plan to have radiation and hormone therapy but am debating on chemo. Can you please help me make a decision? thanks
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judyfams responded:
I basically had the same diagnosis as you. Stage 1 IDC, onco score of 20 and after much research I did go through chemo. For ME this was the right decision, and you must do what you feel is right for you and only you.

I based my decision on the following things:
1. if breast cancer metasizes it comes back in the bones, brain, liver or lungs, and I didn't want to deal with cancer in those organs,
2. I would always regret not doing chemo if my cancer did recur, and my personality is such that I could not live with always second guessing my decision,
3. and finally I would try the chemo and if I did experience terrible side effects I could always stop.

I had 6 rounds of taxotere and cytoxan for chemo and made sure to rest and to carefully eat lean protein and many fruits and vegetables - no fatty or greasy food and the only side effect I had was fatigue. I am 67 years old and retired so I did not have to go to work every day while doing chemo. For me all worked out well.

I am now having whole breast radition in the prone position and have completed 16 of the 33 sessions and so far have only fatigue and just got a mild rash which is getting better with the prescription cortisone cream. I then face 5 years of an aromatase inhibitor.

Please remember that MY decision works for ME and whatever decision you make must work for you. When you make your decision, you must feel that it is right for you in your gut and your heart. Do NOT make the decision that is popular wih your family and friends or the one that gets the most votes on this website! In fact I purposely did not discuss my chemo or no chemo quandry with anybody in my family until I arrived at my decision. I did not want them to feel guilty if they said yes to chemo for me and I got horribly sick, or they said no to chemo and the cancer came back. SO ONCE AGAIN, I DID WHAT WAS RIGHT FOR ME, and you must do the same thing.

I wish you much good luck and hope you reach the inner peace of mind that I had when I finally made my decision. It was a powerful, empowering, positive feeling.

You will make the best decision for you and I wish you well. Please let us know what your decision is and how you arrived at your decision so you can help others who come to this website.

Love and hugs to you,
Judy
 
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rachael67 responded:
I have to interject here that most likely Dr. McAndrew will NOT be returning. She only posted a few replies and was our temporary expert. I didn't want you to wait for her answer.

What Judy has said is very accurate. Every individual, every cancer is different...And we are both blessed and cursed by having so many options! Choosing can be really difficult yet we'd surely hate to be limited to no options, right?

You might want to seek a few more opinions from a few other medical professionals as well as continue researching. Bring all your questions and reports to each, and listen and question. Eventually you will most likely begin to feel comfortable with one choice or another. Whatever you do, please don't waste time second-guessing yourself...Recognize that you are doing the best you can with what you have at this time, and move on! To put yourself in some sort of hell waiting for the other shoe to drop would be the worst choice of all!

Blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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48becky responded:
I agree completely with Rachael and Judy. The good news is you get to choose; the bad news is you have to choose. After you have done your homework, asked all the questions and found out the percentages with and with out chemo (and it looks like you have done this) when you make your decision it will be you right one for you. It will be an informed decision. You are in my prayers. Let us know how things go for you. 48 becky
 
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cancer47 responded:
I can only say do what you think is best for you and don't feel pressured or scared of all the.... what if it comes back in your brain and bones business. I did chemo because they scared me and will always regret having it. If I had done the radiation only I would be more my old self. Chemo and everything that goes with it took a part of me away that I will never get back.
 
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cancer47 responded:
You have a choice.......... you have a voice. You'll feel good about your decision!
 
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ZEEKARIM responded:
Hello everyone,
I am touched, thanks to everyone that took the time to respond. I have made my decision to not have Chemo. I went for a second opinion and the Oncologist explained that since Chemo improves my recurrence by 3-5% it would not be unreasonable for me to opt out of it. In his opinion the most important treatment for me was hormone therapy. Since I was opposed to Chemo in the first place and I believe in the natural healing power of the body, I asked if he could recommend complementary therapies. He recommended "Body Talk" it is a form of energy treatment. I had my first session of BodyTalk last week and was very impressed. I have also started radiation, tomorrow is my third session and my 50th birthday! I am curious to know if anyone has tried Body Talk?

Best of luck to everyone on this journey. I came across a great book by Bernie S. Siegel MD. The title of the book is: Cancer: 50 Essential Things To Do.

Best of luck to everyone on this journey. Thanks again
 
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rachael67 replied to ZEEKARIM's response:
Congratulations on reaching a decision...I know it is tough. I am glad you feel comfortable with the "Body Talk" program. I am not familiar with it, but would encourage you to share your experience and details of the program with this community. We learn from one another!!

You will remain in our thoughts. Let us know how you are doing.

And, of course, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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PChilders responded:
I have a very similar breast cancer that I had removed in a lumpectomy. My oncotype DX test showed a distant recurrence of 9% so I opted out of chemo. I am not sure if I want to go through radiation. If it is already removed, isn't it like trying to swat a fly with a flare gun? I will be taking arimadex forever, and I think this should be enough. When does it reach overkill?


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