• Hoping I made the right decision

    Asked by JaneG on Monday, March 18, 2013

    Hoping I made the right decision

    After a recent diagnosis of breast cancer and a lumpectomy, I had an Oncotype DX test done. My risk factor was 12, a low risk. I decided to have radiation followed by Aromatase Inhibitors, instead of having chemo first. Has anyone had this test (I was 1out of 2 sentinel lymph node positive)? Can I have confidence in my decision?

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1

      I don't know about this specific issue but what I do know is: You must have confidence in your Doctors. Its one thing to question them and this you should do on a regular basis. However, treatment is much harder if you don't have the utmost confidence in them. We can all second gues soutr treatment decisions but its not good and it can drain you of the energy you need to fight the beast. I say this because I had far more agressive treatment than most with removal of the top portion of my Lung and most of the lymp nodes in the center of my chest. My cancer was completely dead but I and my Onc. choose to go the extra route.

      When i start to second guess..I put it right out of my mind. I trust my Doctors with my life and I never let them forget that. I look them right in the eye and tell them: I want you to save my life.

      over 4 years ago
    • JaneG's Avatar
      JaneG

      Thanks CAS1. I love your answer. Yes, I do trust my oncologist. She has been understanding and willing to answer any and all questions with patience and caring. Any more drs I see I will remember your response and look them in the eye, telling them to save my life.

      over 4 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar
      AlizaMLS

      Dear Jane,

      Hi, I'm Aliza. I'm a BC pt and also a Medical Librarian. Though I'm now retired, I do research and offer referrals for folks on this site and elsewhere as well. I was Stage I, and had the option of a lumpectomy or Mastectomy. I opted for a Mastectomy (I'm a Lupus pt as well, so the radiation was a little bit of a concern [not much]). I did not have any cancer in my lymph nodes. I did have an Oncotype test with a score of 8. So my Oncologist decided that chemo would not benefit me and the only therapy I have is Tamoxifen (I'm 54) and at some point in the future will be taking an aromitase inhibitor instead.

      It sounds as if you made a good decision re your treatment based on all of your factors.

      Wishing you well,
      AlizaMLS

      over 4 years ago
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar
      HearMeRoar

      How well rated is your cancer center? Are you in a big city or small town? I had a 1.5 cm tumor.and 3 of 12 nodes positive making me stage 2a. I had my first of 6 chemos last week which will be followed by 6 weeks of radiation. I am 36. I feel comfort in knowing they are being aggressive as possible. I have little kids and a lot of living yet to do. So I say get the best possible care in your community, get a second opinion if you are not 100 percent sure. I wish you peace of mind and health of body. Xoxo

      over 4 years ago
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar
      HearMeRoar

      How well rated is your cancer center? Are you in a big city or small town? I had a 1.5 cm tumor.and 3 of 12 nodes positive making me stage 2a. I had my first of 6 chemos last week which will be followed by 6 weeks of radiation. I am 36. I feel comfort in knowing they are being aggressive as possible. I have little kids and a lot of living yet to do. So I say get the best possible care in your community, get a second opinion if you are not 100 percent sure. I wish you peace of mind and health of body. Xoxo

      over 4 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar
      Clyde

      I also only had 1 of 2 nodes show cancer, but we went in and took all the rest (another 25) just to check and I'm glad we did even if none of the others showed any signs of disease. As for whether or not you made the right decision, you are the only one who can answer that. I was a stage IIIb.

      over 4 years ago
    • happygirl's Avatar
      happygirl

      I am also stage 1. Had lumpectomy and on second week of radiation. My oncotype dx was 19 and will be put on arimidex for five years. I am deciding if I want to take the inhibitor for five years due to side effects. I have fibromayalgia and the joint pain I read about with inhibitors i'm not sure I could handle. You need to feel in your heart that your decision is the right one and don't second guess yourself. Best luck to you

      over 4 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar
      Gabba

      I was 65 when dx'd with stage 2a breast cancer, I had a lumpectomy and neg. sentinel node. My oncotype score was nebulous but together with my medical oncologist I decided to forego chemo and do radiation and arimedex for 5-10 years. If I did chemo I had a 10% chance of recurrence and a 14% chance without chemo...for 4% I was not going to put myself through chemo and all it entails and I had the blessing of my oncologist on this decision...I have never looked back...that was over 2 years ago and I am at peace with my choice. There are no guarantees but I feel I have given myself a great chance without few downsides. Good luck, trust your team, God bless!

      over 4 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar
      Gabba

      The reason I will be on Arimidex for 5-10 years instead of just 5 years is due to a recent study...I work with another nurse who was in the original study and is now a ten year survivor...within 7 days of stopping the Arimidex EVERY SIDE EFFECT had disappeared! That gives me something to aim for!

      over 4 years ago
    • debsweb18's Avatar
      debsweb18

      Like the others said, you need to have confidence in your doctors. I was stage 2, Oncotype DX score of 9. I also had 1 lymph node positive. (you must be menopausal to have been even considered for the test with a positive lymph node). I had a mastectomy after a lumpectomy (margins weren't clear), radiation and now on Aromasin for 7-8 years at least. I first tried Arimidex, then Femarin. Both gave me horrible joint pain. Everyone's different and reacts differently. I chose my treatments based on my doctors recommendations.

      over 4 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar
      Clyde

      I've been thinking about this question a great deal and I'm not sure we can question our decisions (we have to make one) while at the same time, there will always be a nagging thought that we might, should have done things differently. Cancer is so specific to each individual that it is hard if nearly impossible to determine an exact or perfect road.

      There are a few things we can call bad decisions: continuing to smoke after diagnosis (or starting too), failing to follow up with check-ups, dermo visits, blood work after diagnosis or treatment, being erratic with treatment once a course is decided, or throwing it all in for the snake oilers. But avoiding all that, how do we know for sure, for absolute sure that we made the right decision?

      I think we have to study our options, research the potential, prepare ourselves for the outcome, both good and bad and then commit to a course realizing that it is a life long job and let that nagging voice live, but not get too loud. You're not alone in your pangs of doubt. Its normal. Just don't let the doubt get the best of you.

      over 4 years ago
    • JaneG's Avatar
      JaneG

      Thank you all for your answers. They are all encouraging. God bless all of you. I have a new motto for this experience that goes for all of you too: Keep Calm and Carry On.

      over 4 years ago
    • grammyk's Avatar
      grammyk

      I am in the same boat as you! I had a lumpectomy, one node positive out of 3 sentinel nodes and Oncotype DX risk factor of 14. I am currently having radiation (25/34 complete) and then will have Aromatase Inhibitor. My oncologist wanted me to be in a trial f or either chemo and A1 or just A1 completely randomized. I sought a second opinion and decided to skip chemo but the whole decision has really thrown my confidence for a loop!

      over 4 years ago

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