• about treatment options

    Asked by tlwald on Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    about treatment options

    I was wondering if any of you were given the option of no chemo with double mastectomy. If you took that option and how confident you were that you have done all you can to protect yourself from reoccurrence.

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • gwendolyn's Avatar
      gwendolyn

      Unfortunately, I don't think the situation is as clear-cut as you might hope. Whether or not chemo is a critical part of the treatment depends on a lot of factors: The stage of the cancer, the grade of the cancer cells, and many other attributes of the individual's cancer.

      about 4 years ago
    • tlwald's Avatar
      tlwald

      Gwendolyn, HI! I understand what you are saying. At this point I have been told it might actually be an option for me. I was just wondering if there were any others that were lucky enough (as if lucky is the right word) to have that option, if they chose that option etc.

      about 4 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar
      Kathy

      I can be wondering the same thing ... Being an ovarian cancer survivor I know I'm at a high risk for breast cancer. I think about it a little more since Jolene made her story public. But if I were having to make a choice or given a choice - for me I may be tempted to go with the mastectomy if it meant avoiding chemo. For me it seems- even though very painful - that my body recovers more easily from surgery as opposed to the chemo and all the havoc that presents. I would want to feel like I was meeting with the best of the best of a doctor though and giving me the pros and cons of each. I have come to learn that all the cancers, though seeming somewhat similar can have so many variables and it seems like only something a doctor can sort through - depending on how proactive in the research one wants to be. You got me thinking, like so many others I bet since Jolene came forward. Hope it's ok I kind of rambled here. Take care.

      about 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Everyone has to make their own decisions, hopefully using common sense, science and your Dr.'s advice. Me having gone through two different diagnosis and having chemo and radiation, and a third with just radiation and surgery, I would take the chemo in a heartbeat if the people who are supposed to know whats the right thing to do told me I needed to. Yes it's hard on you sometimes, but other times it's not. We see people all the time go through it with not much adverse reactions.

      Having to take chemo is tough, but the chance of being dead from not taking it would be tougher, so I'm in for a big dose if they ever say I need it again. But, that's just my opinion.

      about 4 years ago
    • chutzpah's Avatar
      chutzpah

      your dr may be holding back on the chemo so that he/she may use it sometime in the future. The SE's might outweigh the positives in the outcome.
      I am not worried about a reoccurence since I was dx stage IV at the start, had the bmx with reconstruction had the ovaries removed and radiation. Now my Dr is recommending a biophsonate (Zometa,Xgeva) treatment to strengthen my bones. I am positive that my medical team has weighed the options and are doing their best to keep me going.

      about 4 years ago
    • pressinfwd's Avatar
      pressinfwd

      I agree with Gwendolyn, the choice to have chemo depends on several factors. I was diagnosed with stage 1 BC and had bilateral masectomy. No cancer found in lymph nodes are the other breast. After getting the results of my oncotype score, which was in the gray area, my doctor suggested and I agreed to chemo. I just felt like I wanted to do everything I can to fight this terrible disease. Hope this helps. Best wishes!

      about 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      If your health care team believes chemo will not be all that helpful in your treatment plan, then skip on home and be happy! Chemo does not work for all types of breast cancer, and I think that if chemo is not going to provide much, if any, benefit, skip it for sure!!!! If you are in that gray zone (medium onco type score, for example), then careful consultation with your health care team is definitely in order. That's a tough decision to make!

      So, write down all of your questions and meet with your health care team and don't leave until you feel you have enough information! I kept a document on my computer with all of my questions, and I pulled it out at every single appointment. My better half also went with me and helped me by recording answers and so on. It's hard to digest all that information, and having a second person there helps a ton. So, if you can, take someone who can take notes for you, even if you are taking notes yourself. Sometimes, what you and your companion write down differ... and some details you miss might show up in their notes... and vv.

      I was very fortunate in that my two main doctors were also fans of email, and I could send questions via email. They were both very good about sending responses rather quickly.

      Good luck!

      about 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      PS - if it's lumpectomy with chemo versus double mastectomy with NO chemo... and the prognosis is similar, then my own personal choice would be double mastectomy with no chemo. That's just me. I had to do both the double mastectomy AND chemo...

      about 4 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar
      Ydnar2xer

      I was in the same situation as pressinforward...bilateral and then chemo. But if my oncologists had told me to bathe in stewed alligator juice--if it would lessen my chances of getting cancer again--I would contact one of those Swamp People and start the treatment TONIGHT! I've had b/c twice and am crossing my fingers that this past time is the LAST time!

      about 4 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar
      gwendolyn

      Thank you for clarifying your situation. I misunderstood your question. I've often wondered about the benefits of more extensive local treatment (double instead of single mastectomy) vs. systemic treatment (chemo.) I hope you get the answers you need to make your decision.

      about 4 years ago
    • MarianneT's Avatar
      MarianneT

      If you are having trouble making a decision you could always get a second opinion. Good luck to you!

      about 4 years ago

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