• After mastectomy Pet scan shows no cancer should I have chemo?

    Asked by Wynn on Thursday, February 6, 2014

    After mastectomy Pet scan shows no cancer should I have chemo?

    25 Answers from the Community

    25 answers
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      My opinion is NO......but they probably will give you tamoxifen.
      Check out this site below AND his face book page.

      http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/

      Barry

      over 7 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      What do your doctors recommend? What stage was your cancer, grade, other risk factors?

      over 7 years ago
    • banditwalker's Avatar
      banditwalker

      Scans and tests can overlook cells that may be affected. I have heard of people who showed they were cancer free after surgery, but later it had recurred (say, chest wall/lymph nodes) or metastasized to somewhere else in the body. You have not filled out your "journey" on here so we don't know what your hormone receptors are and/or if you may have a family history. There are many components that go into this and knowledge is king. If you are just questioning your physician you should get a second opinion.
      The final say is yours however.

      over 7 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      What does your oncologist recommend? Treatment is based on a variety of things that indicate your chances of recurrence. You oncologist should explain your options and statistical rate of reoccurrence for you based on your medical history. Take somebody else with you to your doctor visit to help you listen and take notes. Ask your doctor questions until you understand everything. If you still have doubts, get a second opinion from another oncologist. Best wishes.

      over 7 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      the answer to whether chemo is likely to provide you a much lower risk of recurrence will depend on many factors about your cancer diagnosis.
      er/pr status (positive or negative)
      her2 status (positive or negative)
      oncotype (only available if you had an er positive tumor)
      size of your tumor
      and several other measures.

      your health care team should be able to give you a solid picture of your risk of recurrence based on the results from your pathology report.

      it's FANTASTIC that no cancer was detected by pet scan after your surgery. BUT - sadly - PET does have a limit to how small of a tumor can be detected.

      for me - i had absolutely no evidence of cancer outside of my primary tumor. BUT - i had a very aggressive form of breast cancer - triple negative. the recommendation was that i do chemotherapy in order to reduce my risk of recurrence, which was near 40% or so with surgery alone. my health care team strongly recommended i do the chemo, and i did.

      please write down any and all questions you have about chemo and the pathology report from your mastectomy. if possible, take someone with you to your appointment to help you ensure you ask all your questions and to help you take notes.

      i hope that you do not have to do chemo! i really do! but that can only be decided based on the details of your diagnosis.

      i hope this helps.
      good luck.

      over 7 years ago
    • KLC's Avatar
      KLC

      From what I gathered from my discussions with my Dr at Sloan is PetScans do not show cancer cells only clusters (small tumors). It's great that it was negative, but, you still have to address the possiblity of cancer cells that may have slipped into your system. Good luck Wynn !

      over 7 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar
      Nancebeth

      Did you have an Oncotype DX test of your tumor? Your score will determine whether or not you benefit from chemo.

      over 7 years ago
    • MariaM's Avatar
      MariaM

      The fact that the PET scan shows no cancer does not mean that there are no cancer cells in your body. You you should discuss this with your oncologist, who has access to all the information about your specific case.

      over 7 years ago
    • MariaM's Avatar
      MariaM

      This little video, which can be found on the website of Seattle Cancer C are Alliance (a top-ten cancer care facility) may help you understand how chemotherapy works:

      http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-do-cancer-cells-behave-differently-from-healthy-ones-george-zaidan

      over 7 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956

      What does your oncologist recommend. I had PET scan and all sorts of testing at time of Dx before any Tx began. Oncologist recommended surgery before chemo....had bilat then chemo, rads etc.....All the best to you

      over 7 years ago
    • gsbasset's Avatar
      gsbasset

      Despite how difficult Chemo was for me personally, I say yes, have it. I can not tell you how frightening it is to fear that it might come back when you have not done everything you can to eliminate it.

      over 7 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Your PT scan shows (some of) what's happening now. Chemo is taken to prevent metastatic disease in the future. As others say here, you will need much more info in order to make a decision. I'd say that if your oncologist recommends chemo and gives you good reasons for that recommendation, go with that. I found chemo to be doable; it's no fun, but time passes and, suddenly, it's over. Best to you - Carool

      over 7 years ago
    • Tunie10's Avatar
      Tunie10

      I would recommend doing chemo if your doctor is advising you to do so. My husband had a clear PET scan 3 years ago after he had testicular seminoma cancer tumor removed surgically. The doctor advised him to have chemo & my husband refused despite my urging. Now, 3 years later he has spinal tumor that is same testicular seminoma cancer cells from his 3 years ago cancer in a spinal tumor. Chemo 3 years ago may not have prevented the current return of cancer, but it may have. Why take that chance if you really want to fight to live. This has been a hard experience for my husband and myself, and I wish it could have been different.

      over 7 years ago
    • dls1007's Avatar
      dls1007

      I say a big YES. They told me they got all of my cancer the first time and I opted not to do chemo because I was only 32 and had small children. Within five years it was back and had spread to my spine so I went from Stage I to Stage IIII. You just never know if one little cell is out there floating around in your body.

      over 7 years ago
    • baridirects' Avatar
      baridirects

      I will echo what most of my fellow WhatNexters have said - while a negative PET scan is a beautiful thing, it is not a guarantee that there are no cancer cells existing in your body, any one of which can take up residence somewhere and cause you problems in the future. The goal of chemotherapy is to eradicate those rogue cells as much as possible, and therefore reduce your risk of recurrance later on. It's challenging, but definitely doable - there are lots of us out here who can attest to that.

      If your medical oncologist feels that having chemotherapy can increase your chances for a long, healthy future, I would definitely pursue it.

      Namaste,
      Christine

      over 7 years ago
    • twig618's Avatar
      twig618

      Talk to your doctor but I my opinion (someone with metastatic breast cancer which is not curable), I would fight it with everything they give you. There could be small cancer cells that cannot be seen. You want to give it all you can. Kill those cancer cells!!!

      over 7 years ago
    • PegC01's Avatar
      PegC01

      I agree with most...#1 talk to your oncologist, find out exactly what type of tumor you had...#2 I would do Chemo....even though your PET showed NED, that doesn't mean a smal, minute' little cancer cell was somewhere else and can make a recurrance. I done all, Lumpectomy, Chemo, Radiation, now on Arimidix for 5 years...I want to make sure I am doing everything possible to make sure it STAY'S away. I also saw it was mentioned to go to Chrisbeatcancer.org...I love his website, and so now I am following a clean diet as much as I can afford...just know I am doing everything I can, plus having total Faith in God, because He heals....Good luck.

      over 7 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar
      DianaL

      What does your doctor recommend. Fight this evil devil with all you can!!! Survival is the most important thing.

      over 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      I agree that Survival is very important BUT at what price?
      I wrote a song called "A TIME TO LIVE AND A TIME TO DIE".
      There will come a time for ALL people to have to make the decision that
      enough is enough. The treatments push back the cancer is SOME cases
      for a long time but for others it just keeps coming back like the tide. We need
      to plug the hole in the XXX and that's where OUR responsibility lies to do our part
      by changing our Lives in Diet and Lifestyle to give ourselves the best chance.
      BUT if it is getting to the point that the treatments are constantly making us sick and
      feel terrible and we just want to call it a day.....then we should call Hospice and "THY WILL BE DONE". Sometimes our Family and Friends just want us alive no matter what kind of shape we are in. I say quality of life matters and we must know when to cut our losses, pat ourselves on the back that we fought the good fight and just let go. Sometimes in life we can't always win by fighting....whatever that means. Sometimes we can heal by letting go and going with the flow. B

      over 7 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Carool

      Barryboomer, I agree that there is a time for someone to decline further chemo and other medical treatments, but Wynn didn't mention her cancer's stage, etc., so she may well have a chance for a cure and many years of healthy life ahead of her. She and others like her, with varying cancer diagnoses, have many options. Diet and exercise can help, but they alone don't kill cancer cells; that's why we turn to modern medicine. Best, Carool

      over 7 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Barryboomer,
      Why can't we do ALL those things, including the diet you like, instead of making a choice? The chemo side effects are temporary, not for the rest of our lives, so hopefully there would be time later to enjoy life.

      I find a lot of comfort in your Ecclesiastes reference (there's a time to live and a time to die) when I'm at a funeral, but I also believe the rest of the verse and don't think we are supposed to rush death. I think God means for us to cherish and appreciate life because it's a gift from Him, and to reject it would be disrespectful of His gift.

      Then there's the belief in James 1 that God is building our character so we can do things for Him later, and cancer survivors sure do that! We're all different people after getting in this club, hopefully better people showing compassion to everyone. There's a book I think is titled "The People You Meet in Heaven" that's about seeing the people in heaven who you made a difference to, when you didn't realize you would, whether for better or for worse. Think about that awhile, and it makes you feel you have a lot of unfinished business to do! I imagine that the TV show "Touched by an Angel" is how God has planned for us to do his work, but we aren't qualified until we've been through cancer and surfaced as a compassionate wiser person.

      I hope you will share your song with us.
      Barbara

      over 7 years ago
    • PegC01's Avatar
      PegC01

      I believe there is a time to die, when GOD decides it's time...in the mean time He gave us the tools and love to fight back......BarbarainBham, Carool along with a few others hit it on the head...Fight with everything God has given in front of you, don't close your eyes....Chemo isn't as bad as a lot fear it is or said it is...It does effect us in different way.....Whatever decision you make Wynn, it will be your choice with all the information you have at hand...God be with you.

      over 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      Hey Barbara...this is the song " A TIME TO LIVE & A TIME TO DIE"
      I DO believe that we need to throw everything at the cancer.
      I JUST decided to go the Natural Route. I'm either crazy or courageous....not sure which.
      If it works It will be great and I'll share what I did with others.
      Hope you enjoy the song and others at barrydbutler channel on youtube

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-6hgagZYQ4

      Barry

      over 7 years ago
    • TheBirdLady's Avatar
      TheBirdLady

      1. Did you have any sentinel lymph nodes looked at?
      2. What does your oncologist recommend? Please take his or her advice. The Internet can be very useful but only your doctor can see you and tell you what is best.

      over 7 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Barry, thank you for the link! Unfortunately I'm having trouble with my computer today and couldn't get the sound. I love that Bible verse, so will keep trying and get back to you. God bless you.

      over 7 years ago

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