How to decide - Chemo or no Chemo (Oncotype scores of 15 and 11)

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KelJ
KelJ Member Posts: 1
I am so torn and emotionally tired. I am 41 and was diagnosed with breast cancer in January. I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. The pathology showed 3 tumors, the largest 2cm, all in 1 breast.

No lymph node involvement. ER+.

I had Oncotype testing ran on 2 tumors, the 1st score came back with a 15 and the 2nd with a 11.

My oncologist is saying Chemo would probably only benefit me by 3-4%, and my breast surgeon agrees. The oncologist also ran the tests/history by a college who agrees as well. They have said it is a personal decision, and that is the part I am struggling with so much. How do you decide?

I do have to undergo Radiation either way as one tumor was especially close to the skin. I am totally OK with that.

I am OK with the Chemo too, I am not afraid of it or of losing my hair - I just don't want to put my body through it needlessly.

What to do? Anyone who would like to share their opinions I would be interested.

Thanks so much,
Kel

Comments

  • JuJuBeez
    JuJuBeez Member Posts: 332
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    Hi Kel,
    Welcome to the

    Hi Kel,

    Welcome to the board. I'm glad you found us, though I'm sorry you had to. Everyone is great here, and so willing to help.

    I was diagnosed in 2010 at 43 with IDC, 1cm tumor, no nodes, ER/PR+. I had lumpectomy and radiation. My Oncotype score was 12. I have been on Tamoxifen since Aug 2010. I had radiation twice a day for five days. I was part of a trial study on the partial-breast radiation (B39).

    My oncologist said that with a score of 12, he wouldn't push the chemo. It just wouldn't make that much of a difference to put my body through it. I guess he feels if the score is in the 20's it's more beneficial. I really trust my onc, and so far I haven't beat myself up wishing I had done chemo. I was really conservative this time, but if anything comes back, I will be much more agressive. I have to admit though, the thought of chemo scared the crap out of me.

    Best wishes to you. Please keep us informed of how you're doing. Be sure to ask for the 'Pink Bus' when you have appointments that you need all of us to 'join' you for! :-)

    Julie
  • DianeBC
    DianeBC Member Posts: 3,881 Member
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    I wish I had the answer for
    I wish I had the answer for you Kel. I didn't take chemo, but, had rads. You do what you want with all the information you've been given by your doctors.


    Good luck!
  • ThycaAnne
    ThycaAnne Member Posts: 68
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    JuJuBeez said:

    Hi Kel,
    Welcome to the

    Hi Kel,

    Welcome to the board. I'm glad you found us, though I'm sorry you had to. Everyone is great here, and so willing to help.

    I was diagnosed in 2010 at 43 with IDC, 1cm tumor, no nodes, ER/PR+. I had lumpectomy and radiation. My Oncotype score was 12. I have been on Tamoxifen since Aug 2010. I had radiation twice a day for five days. I was part of a trial study on the partial-breast radiation (B39).

    My oncologist said that with a score of 12, he wouldn't push the chemo. It just wouldn't make that much of a difference to put my body through it. I guess he feels if the score is in the 20's it's more beneficial. I really trust my onc, and so far I haven't beat myself up wishing I had done chemo. I was really conservative this time, but if anything comes back, I will be much more agressive. I have to admit though, the thought of chemo scared the crap out of me.

    Best wishes to you. Please keep us informed of how you're doing. Be sure to ask for the 'Pink Bus' when you have appointments that you need all of us to 'join' you for! :-)

    Julie

    Hi, Kel......
    Welcome to the club noone really wants to be in. Julie is right--everyone here is so great. They have been a lifeline for me since December when I was diagnosed with BC. I wish I had found them when I had my thyroid cancer 2 years ago.

    As I said, I was diagnosed in December at age 54 with IDC, less than 1 cm tumor, clean lymph nodes, ER/PR +, Her2 -. I had lumpectomy & the 5 day, twice a day rads like Julie. I decided not to take the Tamoxifen--but that was just my personal decision. My oncotype score was 17. My MO said the side effects would outweigh the benefits of the chemo. So I didn't have it--I was really relieved. I didn't want to have it, but I would have if I had been in the 20's. I have not regretted my decision for one second--about the chemo or the Tamoxifen.

    Stay in touch--ask any & all questions. Someone here will have an answer.

    Anne
  • Nana C.
    Nana C. Member Posts: 108
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    I was scared of Chemo too!
    I was scared to death of the chemo too! I watched several familey memebers suffer through chemo, but these days it is much different. I am so sorry that you have to make that choice, as for me I didn't have a choice as the cancer had spread to lymph nodes. My tumor was 2cc, e/p + Her-. I had IDC. If I had to make a choice I have no Idea what I would have done. I worked through and did Fine (as I always said, fine), but just doing the chemo isn't the hard part. It is all the SE you deal with afterwards, those who say it is a gift that keeps on giving are not Kidding. Not everyone has the side effects that I did, making the choice that mush more difficult. Right now I don't know for sure which SE are from chemo and which are from Tamafin! All that I can do is say that if you pray about it the choice that you make will come. As for me if I have to ever do it again, I will Kicking and screming this time, but I would do it if I was told that I need do, given a choice today, no thanks! I will be praying that the right choice for you comes to you and whatever the choice, no that it is the right one. Regrets are a horrible thing.

    Prayers,
    Nana C.
  • survivorbc09
    survivorbc09 Member Posts: 4,374 Member
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    Nana C. said:

    I was scared of Chemo too!
    I was scared to death of the chemo too! I watched several familey memebers suffer through chemo, but these days it is much different. I am so sorry that you have to make that choice, as for me I didn't have a choice as the cancer had spread to lymph nodes. My tumor was 2cc, e/p + Her-. I had IDC. If I had to make a choice I have no Idea what I would have done. I worked through and did Fine (as I always said, fine), but just doing the chemo isn't the hard part. It is all the SE you deal with afterwards, those who say it is a gift that keeps on giving are not Kidding. Not everyone has the side effects that I did, making the choice that mush more difficult. Right now I don't know for sure which SE are from chemo and which are from Tamafin! All that I can do is say that if you pray about it the choice that you make will come. As for me if I have to ever do it again, I will Kicking and screming this time, but I would do it if I was told that I need do, given a choice today, no thanks! I will be praying that the right choice for you comes to you and whatever the choice, no that it is the right one. Regrets are a horrible thing.

    Prayers,
    Nana C.

    Not sure what I'd do
    Take the information you've gotten and decide what you feel is the best choice for you. Not sure what I would do in your case. Wishing you the best luck and keep us updated.


    Hugs, Jan