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Aggressive Nasty Stage 3a at least

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2014

The topic of this thread is the diagnosis I got from my oncologist. She said I had a 50% chance of survival, but more with treatment. My cancer, she said, is still curable, but there is no way to know if it is gone once I have finished radiation. Does this sound confusing / frustrating to anyone? I am thankful to be here and know many people are in worse positions, but I don't have a sense of where I am at. I feel Stage 3 is a mystery in general - can anyone relate?

New Flower
Posts: 4299
Joined: Aug 2009

For stage 3 you probably need to have Chemo in addition to radiation. Think about those 50% who have survived beyoung 5 years. It can be you, right? I was diagnised with stage 3 in 2008. Unfortunately statistics does not look very inspriring.

Good luck 

Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

I am a IIIA.  That was because of the size of one of the tumors and the fact that I had one lymphnode affected.  As a result, I had chemo added to my having radiation.  My oncologist laid out for me how my odds of survival would improve for every step I took to tackle this.  Because the surgeon believed he had gotten all of the cancer, the chemo/rads were intended to be more preventative in nature -- to be sure cancer cells were killed off.

I am currently on hormonal therapy, started that two years ago.  Initially, the idea was for me to take that for five years; but reserach has showed the benefit of doing this for ten years.  So, that is the plan.

Last time I was at my oncologist, he said to me that with what we are doing now, I should have many, many years ahead of me.

Stage III is considered curable, as compared to anything below that.

Hope this helps.



lynn1950's picture
Posts: 2574
Joined: Jun 2008

In 2008 I was diagnosed stage IIIa.  I had a bilateral mastectomy (my choice), chemo and radiation, and have been taking Arimidex ever since.  Life is full and sweet. Since the the initial surgery  I have held two new grandbabies, climbed a mountain last week, and I am wondering what to do with all my zucchini.  In other words, life has returned to normal...a new normal, yes, but good.  xoxoxo Lynn

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

I was diagnosed with Stage 3A in 1987. As a nurse, I knew my odds (which were much worse back then).  I did everything and prayed that I would make it 5 years. 

Well, I don't know why, but I made it 18 years without a recurrence.  the cancer then spread to my bones and lung and, more recently, to my liver.  I have been Stage 4 for 9 years.

In the meantime, some of my doom and gloom doctors have died.  Wink

Stage 3 is very confusing - in part because we are all so individual and our response to treatment varies widely.  There really is no way to know if "they got it all" because the damed b&*ch can rear her ugly head at the least likely times.

My advice is to do absolutely every treatment recommended.  This is much easier said than done.  The treatments can be brutal.  Be the squeaky wheel if you have problems such as nausea, diarrhea, etc. and seek out solutions, but don't stop treatments. 

We do not come with an expiration date and there are many who have lived a long time with advanced disease.  Hang in there and keep fighting!!!

Posts: 3644
Joined: Aug 2009

Stage is only part of the DX and prognosis.  I was happy to only be Stage IIIc instead of Stage IV.  It is my type - IBC - that is more worrisome to me as the 5 yr survival rate for it is between 25% - 45% depending on the study.  Because of it's aggression and rapid spread, it is almost never DXd below Stage III.

Next month will be 5 yrs since DX for me and, as far as I know now, I am still NED ( No Evidence of Disease).  'Stats' mean nothing as far as I'm concerned.  They are simply numbers of ALL put together.  They do not take into account many other aspects of an individual's life that does play into survival.  The other health issue, we may ( or may not) already have at time of DX and our outlook on life among many other things play a large part in our personal survival.   I was very healthy and active when DXd - still am. and loving life daily.  Individually, our %s are either 0% or 100% as we either have a recurrance or not - I either have a recurrance/mets or I don't.   A % of me can not.

We are each unique and there are no guarantees for anything in life.  Our journey down life's road is ours individually and it is to us to 'make it or break it'.  WIthout Hard Times it would be next to impossible to truly appreciate the good times.  Just my thoughts.

Winyan - The Power Within


GlowMore's picture
Posts: 794
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi Sapman99...........Welcome to CSN....we all know exactly how you are feeling because most of us have been there.   First of all the statistics are scary as hell....so don't pay any attention to them.    So you just completed your 8 weeks of chemo and your weeks and weeks of radiation.....and now the Oncologist hits you with the 50% thing and if you let it...it can knock you for a loop.   Well don't let it.      From what I just read on your home page you have a FANTASTIC attitude....  :) 

My diagnosis is High Risk Triple Negative Invasive Ductile Breast Cancer Stage 3A***   I did the chemo and the radiation......went thru the same terrible emotional roller coaster....and since then have had many many scans(MRI/CAT/Bone/PET)  and blood work etc etc.  and SO FAR nothing else has shown up.   I had a Lumpectomy & a Lympectomy and they said they got all the cancer from the Breast but out of 19 lymph nodes taken  6 had cancer....that is why had to do the chemo.   When there is cancer in  the lymph nodes that means it has spread to your lymphatic system and your veinous system....that is why it is Stage 3a   .........      All of this happened to me in 2002 and 2003........and I am still here.  

Sending you thoughts and prayers.    :)     Glo

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I think staging is for statisics on how much treatment to give you. No one knows how it reacts in your body or has it escaped, lies dormant for a while, or forever. so many facotrs that is the hardest part, to go through all this and not really know for sure if it has worked. every ache pain can cause concern. You do learn to manage it and the people here help . Many people say they are in remission. Also who knows what the research is doing. perhaps soon cancer can be cured in every stage including stage 4. keep hope alive.

GlowMore's picture
Posts: 794
Joined: Feb 2008


My Stage 3A  is because of the lymph node involvement.


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