Quitting Chemo

QQN4answers Member Posts: 16
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I was wondering if there is anyone who has been diganosed with stage 2 breast cancer and decided NOT to have chemo. In my case we decided to do Chemo first and then surgery. I am on my second of 8 chemo treatments and have decided that the treatment is worse then the disease. My Dr tells me that there are oral drugs that can be taken to slow down the spread of the cancer. I was wondering if anyone has gone this route and if so how is it working? I appreciate any input. Liz


  • ksfc
    ksfc Member Posts: 251
    What kind of chemo are you taking and what kinds of problems are you having? I ask because there are so many meds that can help with the side effects of chemo and sometimes if one doesn't work another would. I'm stage II and had 4 cycles of AC. Each round I had a couple of so-so days and then three pretty rough days, but I always knew those rough days would end. If you're not getting enough help to cope with side effects, insist on it. Take care - Diane
  • thenexttweety
    thenexttweety Member Posts: 10
    Liz, my experience mirrors Diane's almost exactly, including benefiting from a change of the meds to help with side effects. By the time of my fourth treatment I was having the fewest reactions of all! Have a good chat with your oncologist about possible alternatives to your treatment before giving up! And good luck!
  • DeeNY711
    DeeNY711 Member Posts: 476 Member
    One of the things that I urge you to weigh is the success chemotherapy achieves in not only shrinking back the tumor, but killing off cancer cells in the area of your planned surgery. My cancer was advanced past the point of consideration for this innovative application of pre-surgical treatment. The oncology center to which I go for chemotherapy is very busy, and I have noticed that patients receiving the pre-surgical chemotherapy seem to have more upheaval over it than those of us who were not candidates. I agree with Diane and Tweety that your very best bet in your own interest is to clearly explain to your oncologist what you are finding intolerable so that symptom management is more effective. That would be true regardless of whether you were going to get the chemo prior to surgery or after surgery. Simultaneously, I also agree with you that the whole thing stinks! Hugs, Denise
  • rizzo15
    rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member
    I agree with all the previous messages. With all the men/women who I met while undergoing chemo therapy, my oncologist was able to find individual solutions to any of the side effects. Nobody knows which side effect you will have ahead of time, but once the doctor knows, he/she should be doing something for you immediately. I appreciated your comment about the treatment being worse than the disease. At the moment I was diagnosed via a mammogram, I felt absolutely perfect. I had no idea that I had this time bomb ticking away in me. This isn't like a cold where I felt bad first, then gradually get better. I was feeling great, then will have tolerated 10 months therapy and surgery, and will hopefully recover and be OK again. I know what will probably happen to me if I don't agree to the most aggressive treatment. The statistics are not that great. On the other hand, you may be one of the lucky ones. I recently met a woman who had a small breast cancer like yours. She only did surgery because that was all they did in those days (no chemo or radiation). Unfortunately her breast cancer metasticized to her spine 14 years later. I met another lady who also had an extremely small breast cancer and it metasticized to her lung 16 years later. There are tests they do now and they know these are not "independent" cancers that sprung up on their own, they are related to the earlier breast cancers. There is no way of knowing ahead of time. Good luck on your decision to do oral drugs instead of chemo. Maybe your doctor knows more than mine does, as all the stage 2 people I have met at his office are doing A/C chemo.
  • chemoqueen1
    chemoqueen1 Member Posts: 50
    Before you finalize your decision to quit chemo, you should get your pathology report. There are major factors in the path report which will tell you how effective or necessary chemo is to your survival. One of these is what your ER/PR status is. If you are ER/PR positive you would be eligable to take tamoxifen (usually for about 5 years)this can block the receptors that react to estrogen and progesteron and improve your survival. If you were ER/PR neg you would not benefit from this and Chemo could really help you. The 2nd thing is if you were Her2 positive. Postive Her2 puts you at a higher risk for a re-occurance and Chemo combined with Herceptin would be very benefical. I agree with the others that you need to work with your onc to find the best combo of anti nausea meds to help you. There is a new anti nausea drug just approved by the FDA that is having great results, I think it is called Emmend. I have listed a couple of web sites for you you might want to check out. 2 of them are for a research study that uses Herceptin with chemo, the other one is abount Emmend.



  • smvargo
    smvargo Member Posts: 39

    The prior message should be taken seriously (from chemoqueen). You need to have all the information before you can responsibly weigh your treatment options. I had a small ER+ tumor and one node involved. After my second round with AC, I felt exactly as you described. My husband and mother encouraged me to continue, stating that if there was a 1% chance I would be around longer for them, they wanted me to take it. So I did it for them. I was "dog sick" with nausea, and nothing my doctor offered helped. I finally asked him for marinol and lorazepam, and that took the edge off. Actually, most of the anti-nausea meds. made me feel sicker. I finished chemo right before Christmas 2002. After chemo. radiation was a breeze. Get all the info. you can about your tumor and then ask those who love you about their feelings. I'm glad I finished my chemo. It let me know how strong I am. Please let us know what you decide.