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Confused about treatment

harring
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi everyone...This is a first time for me but I was hoping I could get a little advice.I'm 63 and was diagnosed on Mar 20.I had a Lumpectomy and a sentinal node biopsy on Mar 30..The node was negative and I expected to have only radiation as a follow up..However when I went to the oncologist he recommended A/C. It was a stage 2A cancer, just about 2cm but estrogen negative so tomoxifen is not helpful..He told me that there is a 25%chance of recurrence in the next 10 years if I do just the radiation and a 21%chance if I take the chemo also..For only 4%difference I don't know if I want to put myself through that..Has anyone else had to make that kind of a decision..Also, I'm still very sore under the arm after 2 weeks, is that normal??? Thanks for any help you can offer.....Janet

mjdp2's picture
mjdp2
Posts: 142
Joined: Nov 2000

Hi Janet,
Even though your tumor was small it may be an agressive type of cancer hence the chemo recommendation. Also you didn't mention whether the original tumor biopsy showed invasion into your blood system. If it did then they would recommend chemo also. Sometimes the nodes will show negative because the cancer cells passed thru them to another area in your body and didn't "congregate" in your lymph nodes. The chemo will go after those "renegade cells".
I had a lumpectomy about 3 years ago. It is not as numb under the arm as it used to be but the area where I had a drainage tube is still somewhat tender. Soreness after 2 weeks is not unusual. Margaret

harring
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2001

thank you so much for replying Margaret.I'm glad to know its not unusual to be sore after 2 weeks..The original tumor showed no invasion into my blood system and the surgeon seemed to indicate that nothing cpould have passed through the sentinal node. What do I know????Did you have Chem after your lumpectomy? Thanks, Janet

jeancmici
Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Janet,

When my cousin had a lumpectomy in 1997, there was no node involvement so she just had radiation, but since then, it's pretty standard treatment to have four AC treatments even if the nodes are clear.

I had one node - the sentinal - involved- and will have # 4 AC next Thursday. It wasn't too bad. With Zofran I had no nausea. I will probably follow with Taxol unless I say 'NO'.

Good Luck to you, Jean

harring
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2001

Thanks Jean, you guys are helping me to accept what I really didn't want to accept..It's so wonderful to be able to talk to people who understand...Thanks again

pamtriggs's picture
pamtriggs
Posts: 408
Joined: Sep 2000

Hi Janet

I would really recommend you go for the chemo too. I had a radical mastectomy 20 years ago (and yes you will be sore for a while yet - just do the exercises they recommend faithfully & you will avoid lymphodema)and was node negative so did not have chemo. Now I am in recurrence so it obviously spread without leaving a trace in the lymph nodes. If I had had chemo I would not now be Stage 4. So please what is a few months discomfort for a really good chance at a normal lifespan. Go for it. Lots of luck o you whatever you decide. Love Pam

mjdp2's picture
mjdp2
Posts: 142
Joined: Nov 2000

Hi Again,
Yes I did have chemo but the biopsy showed venous and lymphatic invasion. I had one node involved also. They recommended 4 A/C and 4 Taxol but I could only tolerate one Taxol so I stopped. The Taxol added a small percentage to the A/C for non reocurrence. I was Stage 2B. I proceeded with radiation and am now on Tamoxifen. Margaret

bette
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2001

hi janet-i am also new here today-if you want to talk off line, let me know, and i will give you my email address. bette

bette
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2001

i found a very good book at the library-healing cancer with nutrition-it is well worth reading. it is very informative and interesting. bette

bette
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2001

i found a very good book at the library-healing cancer with nutrition-by patrick quillin.it is well worth reading. it is very informative and also very interesting. bette

sherry3
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi Janet,
I just found this site and this is my first posting. I had a lumpectomy (1 cm) with sentinal node biop that was negitive. At first I was told I would just need radiation but when I went to the oncologist he said I should think about chemo (CMF) since the lump was exactly 1 cm (when its over 1cm they recommend chemo and don't if its under)so I went to 2 more oncologists and they both said the same thing that I was borderline but I should take the chemo. After much thought I decided to have the chemo because I did not want to second guess myself or say "what if". So now its one year later and I am on Tamoxifen. I will not say it was easy going thru the chemo or radiation but I feel good and am glad I did it. I have peace of mind because I know if the cancer comes back I can say I did everything in my power to prevent it.I wish you good luck.
Sherry

pippi
Posts: 53
Joined: Aug 2000

Hi Janet. Go for the chemo. You don't know how many funny little bits are floating around in you bloodstream. It can come back in the bones

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