• chemo or not?

    Asked by Allie on Monday, March 11, 2013

    chemo or not?

    I am still in the process of trying to decide whether to do chemo or not. Had small IDC on one side, double mastectomy, negative nodes, ER/PR +, HER2 -, but Ki67, p53 were way high and oncotype Dx scored 27 (17% chance recurrence), which was right in the middle. I really thought I'd avoid chemo by getting the mastectomy and my oncologist just told me he wants me to do 6 mos chemo as a precaution and suggested a trial where you get either TAC or TC but you don't know which. I'm still trying to learn about all this and really don't want to do chemo but scared not to. Also, I already have GERD and chronic back pain/sciatica. Any one else in a similar situation (intermediate oncotype) or have any suggestions. Also, am looking for someone for second opinion if anyone wants to recommend an oncologist or group.

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • Clyde's Avatar

      A very serious question that does not have an easy answer. You need to weigh out every possibility as quickly as possible. I made a list of pros and cons. Putting it in black and white helped me keep the emotion at bay (Literally write it down, print it out and then go back to re-read it several times during the day. This only really works if you are as objective as possible.). Most important is to weigh the survival rate with and without chemo for your stage and type of cancer. Chemo is hugely debilitating but worth the pain if it holds promise. Not, if it doesn't and unfortunately, there really isn't a way to know how you will react to it until you do it, just conjecture based on your own past experience with other drugs.

      over 3 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      Hi Allie: I just finished 18 weeks of chemo (TCH, since my breast cancer was HER2+) and I'm glad I did. Clyde is right, chemo can be very challenging. I am now receiving Herceptin every 3 weeks until September. I look at it this way: I MAY get breast cancer again (even after bilateral mastectomy), but if I do, I can look back and say, "Well, I did EVERYTHING I could to avoid getting it again."

      This is what happened to me. I had DCIS nine years ago, and after lumpectomy, 35X radiation and 5 years of Tamoxifen, I got breast cancer IDC in that same breast. But I know it wasn't because I chose not to take the treatment my onc recommended. It was just a very nasty, unfair fluke which happens sometime in life. It wasn't because of anything I did or did not do.

      Good luck with your decision making.

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      I am wondering if the trial is muddying your decision and adding to your stress. This is a hard enough decision without considering a trial at the same time. Take the trial out of the equation and ask your doctor and yourself to weigh the chemo vs. no chemo options. If you make the choice to have chemo you can then begin to consider the trial vs. standard chemo.

      over 3 years ago
    • INSBOB's Avatar

      hi, if you trust your surgeon and he says kemo, do it. if you don't trust him get two other opinions. i had kemo, then surgury, then my surgeon told me he wanted me to do more kemo even though it would be only 15% beneficial. my answer ( even though kemo sucks, but i didn't have to wax) if you say do it i will. i wouldn't do a trial. if the survey says do kemo, DO KEMO. i am grateful to say i am a lung cancer survivor. prayer works to.

      over 3 years ago
    • Giraffe's Avatar

      I opted for Chemo. My thought was why not get the lowest numbers for return and this lowered my chance of return. Good luck making the decision.

      over 3 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      My score was 19 and I had IDC PR/ER+, no node involvement. But because I had early colon cancer a year before, my oncologist insisted on chemo. Chemo is never fun but it is doable. I had potty issues from colon surgery which made chemo a bit challenging, and I also have Fibromyalgia. For me, I wanted to know I did all I could to fight cancer so I had no regrets later. If I were you, I would see another oncologist for a second opinion. Perhaps that would help you make the choice. Remember, we get much better drugs with our chemo now and are kept pretty comfortable. The most difficult part was the extreme fatigue, but it all passed and I show no evidence of disease today. Good luck to you!

      over 3 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more breast cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Breast Cancer page.