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No treatment

Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi Bette..What type of treatments were recommended to you? I don't mind having the radiation therapy but I'm reluctant to take the chemo because it doesn't appear to better my chances of recurrence by that much. How long did it take you to recover from your lumpectomy???? Thanks Janet

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2001

Oh Shoot, I had done a whole reply and think that i erased it. Darn. Anyhow, Janet, they all recommended chemotherapy, radiation and tamoxifen. After doing much research, I decided against all of them. I told them, no thanks, I already had cancer, dont need any more. I am eating a lot more healthily and do flaxseed oil every day and also tofu, which is a weak estrogen, supposed to keep the strong estrogen from attaching to the cancer cells, and I am very positive. Have not lost one moment of sleep over this. They got the lump out with very clean margins, and no node involvement,22 removed. I have a slight case of lymphe dema,i never would have let them remove the nodes, had i known how bad the lymphedema could possibly get. One of the reasons that i didnt do any of that stuff, is that i have 2 artificial knees, that have performed beautifully for over two years, and chance of infection is great if the white blood cells are lowered, as with chemo. I think that i am fully recovered from the surgery, have been for a while the only thing i get is a few twinges in the area once in a while , if i exert myself too strenuously, like kneading bread. I would not do any radiation because of the damage it could do to the ribs and in the case of younger women, cause endometrial cancer, and worsen lymphedema. How old are you. Ill get back on Wed. Have to go to univ. hosp tomorrow to see endocrin ologist. Had radioactive iodine for hyperthyroidism over two years ago, and then breast cancer shows up? I'm sure going to ask him how many of his patients who had the iodine treatment came up later with breast cancer. bette

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

>>>Have not lost one moment of sleep over this.

Dear Bette,

You say the above, but I wonder if we should believe you because you obviously are trying to get some reassurance on your decision.

You waited too long for the chemotherapy. It is given the latest - 12 weeks after surgery - usually 3-6 weeks after. You are almost too late for the radiation.

BUT tamoxifen has the best track record for older women and it's not too late for that.

You are older and many of us are but not considered an "old woman" in the cancer treatment category. Perhaps you should rethink at least the tamoxifen.

Good luck in any case.

Keep us informed if you want to. We are all here to offer each other support.

I am taking AC and was going to skip the taxol but others here have gone through it so I am going to at least give it a try too -so I can feel I gave it my best shot. I am 63 - and don't even have any family at all, but I was enjoying life and hope to again.

Sending a hug and good thoughts your way, Jean

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi Jean -Thanks for your kind thoughts. No, I am not seeking reassurance as to my decision, I have felt all along that this was the right thing for me to do. I just want to make other women aware that there are other options to surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and tamoxifen. Most of the cancer treatments available now can cause more cancer. I already had cancer, thank you. Had I had access to all the information on the internet when i was first dx, I dont even know if I would have the lumpectomy, and i certainly would not let them remove all my lymph nodes again. There are treatments now to shrink the tumors and other ways of treating breast cancer,but the problem is getting the money for research for alternative treatments. Did you know that tamoxifen is listed as a known carcinogen by the World Health Org. and also the state of California? Makes a person wonder. Anyhow, thanks for your concern. Bette

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi again Janet-Just went back and read your post. At your age, I would not do any of the treatments. But this is entirely up to you. I think it depends on whether there was any node involvement and how you personally feel. I know how i feel. Just heard from 82 yr old friend, who had a recurrence, after treatment of radiation 6 yrs ago, and now they have her doing chemo. Oh My God. The poor thing is worn out, she says. I am going to see her in a couple of weeks,when she feels like having company. I think that is torture to put her through that at her age. bette

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