chemo or not?HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SweetSue Member Posts: 217
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I had a double mastectomy...negative nodes...apparently, cancer-free. As a preventative measure, my oncologist suggested I go through chemo and hormonal therapy. I opted for Tamoxifen, but now I'm thinking I should be more aggressive with treatment. Chemo+Tamoxifen=5%-10% chance of cancer reoccurene;Tamoxifen alone=10%-15% chance of reoccurence. HELP!!!!!!


  • llange
    llange Member Posts: 54
    You need to base your decision on a number of factors. How aggressive was your tumor (grade 1, 2 or 3)? How large was the tumor? Are you pre- or post-menopausal? What is your age? All these things go into the decision. Also, what kind of chemo was your onc thinking of? There are many different regimens, some are 4 treatments, some are 6 or 8 or more. Chances are, with negative nodes, you would have a less aggressive chemo, and maybe not even lose your hair. The chemo is definitely not as bad in reality as it was in my mind. I survived through it and for the most part was able to keep up my normal activities, at least for the weeks between treatments. All these things need to be considered by you, your dr. and your family. Keep us posted, and we'll keep you in our prayers.
  • Annpez
    Annpez Member Posts: 7
    Hi I had the thing as you and I did do the chemo my doctors felt it was a little more insurance and then after that I started the tamoxifen I had four rounds 3 weeks apart I had the a/c it wasn't a walk in the park but all in all it was not so bad I never got so sick I had to stay home I would rest and just listen to my body I lost my hair but that didn't bother me I had four great wigs I liked them better than my own hair but I felt I wanted to give myself every chance of recovery I could so thats why I did it. I hope I helped you Good Luck Ann Marie
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi Sweet-onion:

    Ditto Lisa's advice and I'd like to add two other points to consider: Whether your cancer was hormone negative/positive (Er and Pr)( Tamoxifen)and whether or not it was Her2/neu positive. Those are critical things to consider.

    I'm not familiar with many physician's recommending adjunctive chemo as a preventative measure. When recommended it's typically for a specific reason(s)...specific properties of your particular tumor, etc.. If you don't have it, it may help to get a copy of your pathology report.

    I was pre-menopausal. Had lumpectomy. 1 cm tumor was hormone negative but strongly Her2/neu positive. Initially, drs. felt that lumpectomy and radiation would be sufficient but after final test results were in, chemo was strongly recommended. After 3 additional opinions, all recommending the same treatment, I had 4 cycles A/C, followed by 37 radiation treatments. I was not a candidate for Tamoxifen however, due to being Hormone neg.

    I was fortunate to manage well during chemo. The new anti-nausea drugs are amazing! However, chemo can present long term side effects, as well, which some women here have experienced.

    Have you gotten a second opinion yet? If not, I'd recommend it just to get a different perspective and/or to reinforce your other doctor's opinion. Chemo is very powerful, serious drugs which effect every cell in our bodies. For some good info you can visit: Click on "types" of cancer and then choose "breast cancer", then "treatments". You will find detailed info which may be helpful.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Love, light and laughter,
  • mykids
    mykids Member Posts: 1
    Sweet-onion, this is my first time on this site and I have to tell you I am moved by all the support this offers. I too had breast cancer about 5 years ago,going on 6 now. I had a lumpectomy, chemo, radition and was on tamoxifen for five years. Yes, the chemo was bad and it was a rough time. I had a 5, 9, 18 and 23 year old at home. But we all got through it and I went on to complete my Bachlors degree last year. Sadly, in August I was diagnosed with metastic bone cancer. We are in the beginning stages of this, radiation and hormone therapy. Pain meds help. I guess my only suggestion to you would be to do whatever you can to prevent any reaccurance. I would take your doctors advice on the chemo.
  • bunnie
    bunnie Member Posts: 233
    hi I had a masetcomy in Jan and opt too have chemo i have four treatmenst iam half way done doing another one this friday and then will only have one more left.I chose chemo becase of the odd the onoclogist gave me he said that with out chemo i had a 50/50 chance of cancer cells still in my body but with chemo the chance go first i wanted to give up becase usally the week after chemo is the hardest but i didnt and iam gald i didnt.I did loose my hair after the first treatment but it will grow back.Each person has too make there own dissicun though.I wish you luck in whatever you decide.