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Chemo or no chemo?

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2012

I was diagnosed with IDC, grade 3, 1.3 cm, estrogen negative and I'm facing radiation treatments. Does anyone else have a similar diagnosis? One doctor also suggested chemo and I'm unsure about that.

Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

My pathology report was such that instead of just surgery and hormonal therapy, chemo and rads were added to my regimen by recommendation of my oncologist, as I was ID'd as Stage IIIA. At the outset (when first diagnosed), I had chosen to be aggressive in the battle.

My oncologist laid out the stats for survival rates. Each added therapy increased the survival rate significantly. So, I did chemo (eight infusions, every other week) and rads (33 times, M-F). I began the hormonal therapy before I did rads.

My surgery was the last part of February; chemo was April into July; rads were most of August and most of September.

Hope you can make a decision soon and feel right about it.

SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010


I didn't have the diagnose that you have had. My 2 cents of advise is "to do everything you can the first time in hopes never to have it again. There is no guarantees but...

Best wishes in making a decision.


lynn1950's picture
Posts: 2574
Joined: Jun 2008

If it was me, I would like to know how significantly chemo would reduce the recurrence statistics. I was diagnosed as Stage IIIa, so I had the works. The one doctor may have suggested chemo because you are estrogen negative. It sounds like you need more information before you make a decision. xoxoxo Lynn

Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

I had a lumpectomy and then rads. Chemo was not part of my treatment, thank goodness. Why does your doctor think you may need chemo? Did you have a positive node?

Good luck to you,


LoveBabyJesus's picture
Posts: 1680
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi -- I am sorry about your diagnosis, but please know that you are not alone. And you will be OK.

I was dx at 32 with IDC, grade 3, ~ 2.5cm tumor. Although my nodes were clean, I had to have chemo. One, because of my age; two, because of the grade (aggressive cells); and three, because I had lymphvascular invasion. I think your Dr. recommended chemo because of the grade. Did you have surgery yet? After surgery, you may get more details on your pathology report and make an educated decision. It is a very personal decision that only YOU would have to make and feel comfortable with. Personally, I have no regrets because I know in my heart, I gave it all I could, at the time, to try and fight it. I took chemo, radiation, surgery (lumpectomy) and now taking tamoxifen, on year 2.

I wish you good luck and a quick recovery. There's light at the end of the tunnel.

Please keep us posted.


Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

Are you having the ONCO test?

Posts: 1521
Joined: Jan 2010

Based on my score on the Onco dx test and what the doctor told me the percentage rate that would change with and without chemo. Gather all the info you can, then make your decision.


DianeBC's picture
Posts: 3886
Joined: Jun 2009

I am stage 1, grade 1 and had a lumpectomy. My oncologist did not recommend chemo for me. I did however have rads. Talk to your oncologist and find out why you would need chemo. If he recommends it, then I trust you will make the best decision for you.

Hugs, Diane

VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9080
Joined: Aug 2009

As you can see from the responses from many of our Sisters in PINK -- Your question, to
chemo or not, is not as easy as a 'yes, or no' answer.

I see that you posted that you are grade 3, stage? Have you had the opportunity to
see a copy of your path report?

My 2cents -- ask your Oncologist for clinical studies, fact based trails that show
percentage of recurrence, or non recurrence. If your Onco is unable to provide you
with this data, please opt for a 2nd opinion (insurance permitting).

Breast cancer is a nasty BEAST. This is your body, and it is your right to be provided
with as much information before proceeding forward.

Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure.

Vicki Sam

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