• How to decide upon hormone only or +chemo treatmen when oncotypes results are 25 right in the middle between low and high recurrence stats?

    Asked by Cynthia on Thursday, March 15, 2012

    How to decide upon hormone only or +chemo treatmen when oncotypes results are 25 right in the middle between low and high recurrence stats?

    stage 1 breast cancer, ER positve, lymph node negative, r breast mastectomy

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Oh man - clear answers are just so much easier to handle!!!!

      ***Recurrence Score between 18 and 31: This score suggests you have an “intermediate” risk of recurrence. It’s unclear whether the benefits of chemotherapy outweigh the risks of side effects.

      I hope you are able to have a very detailed and careful discussion with your health care providers...

      This is a tough decision!

      almost 9 years ago
    • cranburymom's Avatar

      I feel your pain. Sometime too much information cause hiccups.
      I felt I was over treated by getting chemo. So I challenged my ONC, but he was quite firm on staying with evidence-based medicine. I also seek second and third opinions, but I should have done more research myself. I was not capable to dig into huge amount of literature then. Also I did not ask my Japanese friends and docs about their practice (Japanese patients). Long story short, I stopped my chemo earlier due to the worsening side-effects. My Onc now agrees that I am over treated and 6th cycle may not have significant clinical benefits over 4th cycle.
      Like my case, you may be able to adjust your course of treatment.
      There is no magic number of a perfect treatment. It is art and not all science. Keep asking good questions and seek guidance and help from doctors and insightful friends. They will direct you. Keep in mind, the decision is yours, but you don't need to do it alone.

      praying for you.

      almost 9 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      For me this would be like apples and oranges. Chemo kills cancer, hormone therapy does not but can be effective in preventing cancer by shutting down the hormone receptors in healthy cells. So if you are confident that you are currently cancer free from the mastectomy, there is nothing to be gained from having chemo.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Cynthia's Avatar

      Thank you SO much for your response. Your input is really helpful and empowering. I am sorry to hear of your over treatment, but not surprised.
      A friend of mine had a double mastectomy. She had her first chemo treatment and the next morning a grand mal seizure. Needless to say no more chemo for her.
      How are you now?

      almost 9 years ago
    • saltermd's Avatar

      Oncotype is a useful tool but does have the potential to "muddy the water," particularly with an itermediate recurrence score.

      I use oncotype as one part of the discussion about adjuvant therapy. Another tool to try and utilize is Adjuvant Online which uses data about the woman's age, stage, and receptor status to estimate her benefit from both chemo and hormones. Lastly, I consider the woman's outlook on life. We tend to "overtreat" younger women out of fear that neglecting to treat may result in unnecessary risk of relapse. Age, therefore, does sometimes weigh heavily into the decision.

      When in doubt, seek several opinions to help make the decision easier. Best of luck.

      almost 9 years ago

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