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Declined chemotherapy...

AnnieTherese's picture
AnnieTherese
Posts: 67
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi, This is my first post.

When I was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer in 2010 I had a right mastectomy. I was very strongly advised to have chemotherapy.... HOWEVER ... the oncologists also said that even if I had chemo, the cancer would most likely come back in a couple of years anyway, so I declined it. I figured why go thought the hell of chemo when they reckon...very strongly...that the cancer will come back. I don't regret my decision, but I am wondering if there is anyone else out there who has refused chemo or any other treatment too.

I've felt very much on the outter because of my decision.

I'd like to hear your comments.

Cheers, Annie

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

We should only do what we feel is in our best interest. I never had chemo, as, I didn't need it, just a lumpectomy and rads. Well, I shouldn't say just as that is a lot. But, I know Annie that you are making the right choice for you and that's all that matters.

Hugs, Noel

joeybirdie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2012

Hello Annie! Hope everything is well with you. As soon as I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer my wonderful husband started doing extensive research, as did I. I am stage 2b in my left breast. Learning about chemo was enough to start looking into alternative treatments. I had a lumpectomy and five limp nodes removed. That's all. I have a three prong treatment plan with alternative methods that has no side effects at all. I am eating healthy and am feeling great. I will go and have a scan done in December to see what's going on. I have a very positive attitude and hardly even think about the cancer most days. We still are researching and probably always will, to learn of new treatments and to meet and talk to so many great people who are taking these methods and are doing great! I will be posting on here to let everyone know how I am doing.

Take care Annie and God bless you!

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

Like Noel no chemo for me. Clear margins and no node involvement.Stage 0.I am OK with no chemo but would've preferred radiation.I never asked or mentioned this to my doctors. I felt they know best.My case was discussed at a doctor's convention and I felt comfortable.Also felt good that my doctor would go out of his way to consult with others.

My friend was Stage 3 with 3 nodes involved(lumpectomy..She had chemo.Her doctor told her it doesn't make a difference with Stage 0 or 3.I was a little apprehensive when she had a lumpectomy but she's doing fine after 18 years.I guess we make the decision and hope the decision is right but we never know.Like my doctor said "everyone is different".That preys on my mind alot.

Sound like you have a low Grade and feel comfortable not doing chemo.It's up to you.I was hesitant about taking tamoxifin but my doctor said it protects me from getting cancer in other places.I take it and have just over 2 years to go.

Wishing you the best and you're in my thoughts.Keep in touch with us.

Lynn Smith

TreeHuggerCC
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2015

JoeyBirdie could you tell me about the "three prong treatment plan"??

Thanks!!

Rague
Posts: 3556
Joined: Aug 2009

It's unlikely that joeybirdie will reply to you.  That post is almost  3 yrs old, only 6 posts had been done and when checking for joeybirdie's Profile - it no longer exists.

Rague
Posts: 3556
Joined: Aug 2009

OOPS - Dreaded double post!

TreeHuggerCC
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2015

Hi everyone,

This is my first post. 

I had a lumpectomy for invasive ductal carcinoma on June 3 2015.  Clear margins at .05 and no lymph node involvement (3 sentinels removed).  Final staging 1a with 90% estrogen positive.

 

 I am 64 years old, active and healthy.  My risk of recurrence according to "Adjudivant!" and also the Genome 21 test is very low.

I have been reading and reading and find myself more averse to the side effects of radiation AND the hormone therapy.  I find myself worrying about these and not worrying AT ALL about recurrence.  I love my physical activities and dread these changing.  Of course I know with age comes limitations but why speed the process - that's my question. 

 

So my thinking is ok...just let it go.  No radiation.  Maybe TRY the aromatase inhibitor or tamoxifen and see if I can tolerate one of these well.  And then just let it go.  If I have a recurrence in either breast in less than 5 years, that would be the time to have radiation.

 

Thoughts anyone??? Thanks.

 

 

button2's picture
button2
Posts: 239
Joined: Sep 2014

My thoughts are that skipping radiation is a risky move. Personally, I asked for every single thing they could give me to beat the beast. I was afraid I would regret it if I had a recurrence and then was plagued by feeling "Why, oh why did I not listen to medical advice??" Get a second and third opinion if necessary in order to make your decision. You can't just wait for cancer to come back and then do some treatment then because it might come back in a different place that's not so treatable. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Rague
Posts: 3556
Joined: Aug 2009

It was bitter sweet reading through all the posts from so long ago and how many are no longer physically here with us.  Their insights, courage, are so missed by those of uus who were blessed to have known them.  It is also sad that they are not here to walk with the new ones.  My life has been blessed by having known them all - not just those who posted on this thread but all who have gone before us.

 

TreeHugger - Do not assume that all the negative that you read some experience, you will experience.  We are each unique and there is no "One Size Fits All".

My DX is different - IBC.  I was 63 when DXd and was a very active 'outdoor' woman - still am almost 6 yrs later.  Was also very healthy then and now.  I did neoadjuvant DD A/C, UMX, adjuvant 12 weekly Taxol, 25 rads and have been on Femara/letrozole for 5+ yrs.  I still ride and care for our horses, ride my bicycle, garden, mow my yard (and 2 other yards to help out others) with my push mower, fish, boat, target shooting (pistol and rifle), sewing, tatting, leather carving - all that I had done before DX.  Since DX, I have taken up fly fishing, learned to tie flies and build rods from blanks (through Project Healing Waters - a program for Veterans), learned to do flint knapping (making arrow points and blades) and Woodfellow carving.   Point is - TX does not end an active life.  (Just remembered - the first Sat in June I did a 10k Volksmarche at Crazy Horse Memorial up onto the carving.)   I am still as active as ever and love living to the utmost.

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan 

TreeHuggerCC
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2015

Thank you so much for your comments. 

TX?? Tamoxifen??

Rague
Posts: 3556
Joined: Aug 2009

TX is the shortened medical term for treatment.  DX is dianosis, UMX is a unilateral mastectomy, BMX is a bilateral mastectomy.

There is a thread at this site that gives the common abbreviations.

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2481
Joined: Jun 2010

While it is a problem if one has a local recurrence, they can often successfully treat a local recurrence.  The larger problem is if the recurrence is in a distant organ.  Radiation should kill any rogue cancer cells in the breast.  Left alone, they can grow and metastasize.  I had clear nodes, and small tumor, but that's all I know because that's all the tissue that was examined.  The rest of the breast?  Who knows?  It was a no brainer to me.  Either mastectomy or lumpectomy and radiation.  I had chemotherapy because my oncotype test was high. 

Five years later, I'm fine.

Suzanne

New Flower
Posts: 4298
Joined: Aug 2009

I think you are making a very risky decision. Please read your pathology report and discuss your decision with your doctor. If you have invasive ductal carcinoma which means that cancer have left the ducts -reason for you to have radiation. You are estrogn positive - when your onco scare was calculated the asumption was made that you would do anti-estrogen therapy for 5 years as prescribed. When you decling any treatment (lumpectomy by itself is not a treatment it is  part of the cancer treatment) you are gambling. Usually, when it come back radiation is not enough.

Please talk to your doctors and get a second opinion.   

Good luck with your decision

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