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To do chemo, or not to do chemo?

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

I was diagnosed with soft-tissue sarcoma in March, 2009, and had surgery to remove an aggressive, high grade tumor from my thigh, in April. I will begin radiation on Monday for 36 sessions. The recurrence rate is 50/50. If the cancer spreads, it will go to my lungs. I have been given the option of doing chemo for four months, which may reduce the recurrence rate by 0% to 5%. I cannot decide whether or not to do chemo while my quality of life is good, since it seems inevitable that I will eventually have tumors in my lungs, and then the prognosis is very poor. If anyone has ideas about this, I would really appreciate hearing from you.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2009

I was recently diagnosed via MRI with a liposarcoma in my left thigh and have surgery scheduled next week. The surgeon tells me it might take several weeks to do a biopsy to determine the extent and type of sarcoma. He tells me that while I might need radiation there is no need for chemo. If you don't mind how long did it take to do the biopsy and do you know what type of sarcoma it is so I can do good follow up?

Best wishes on your coming chemo and I sure hope that the treatment will nip it before it spreads.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

It took six weeks after surgery for us to find out exactly what kind of sarcoma I had (soft-tissue, pleomorphic). There was a pathologist present during surgery, and my husband was told by the surgeon right after surgery that it was a high-grade, aggressive tumor, but that the recurrence rate was only 15% to 20%. However, once the tumor was further evaluated, the results changed. When we met with my regular oncologist six weeks after surgery, he advised that the recurrence rate was 50%. Initially, we were told I would only need radiation, not chemo, but after the final pathology report, I was offered the option of chemo. We were shocked. We weren't aware that they would not know exactly what the result would be until the tumor was further evaluated. So, your surgeon has provided you with better information so that even though it might take several weeks to get the results, and the waiting is excruciating, you will have correct information and can further research your particular type of sarcoma. The frustrating thing about sarcoma is there are so many different types, it's hard to find information.
Another problem seems to be with timing. It seemed to take way too long for me to get set up for radiation, and I kept thinking that if there were any cancer cells in my thigh that the surgery didn't get, they were probably already in my lungs.
I hope your surgery goes well (or has gone well).
If I can give you any more information, please don't hesitate to e-mail me at madisonrap@aol.com.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Lynn, My boyfriend has been battling a high grade liposarcoma diagnosis for about 9 months. During his first surgery, the doctor removed the whole tumor and decided that 36 treatments of radiation should be sufficent along with close monitoring. However, he has had a regional reoccurence followed by a second surgery and is now undergoing chemo treatment. We can't help but wonder if it would have been best to have got the chemo right away. Could it have killed all the other cells that woud be linguering around? No one knows!!!I hope your treatment is going well, but it is very fustrating and there is not a lot of info out there

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