• Really concerned about having Chemo when it is not clearly indicated. My breast cancer was a secondary cancer from prior radiation therapy.

    Asked by Jonie on Sunday, February 26, 2012

    Really concerned about having Chemo when it is not clearly indicated. My breast cancer was a secondary cancer from prior radiation therapy.

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • sofarsogood's Avatar

      In my case, it has been slow improvement over a year or mor, and I am still improving in memory, focus, and stamina.. Some t new effects may start to show up. As my neurolist said, "you're dealing with nomad aging, the effects of the chemo and radiation, and the cancer itself." in other words, it is an ongoing process of Chang (just like everybody else), but mores.

      over 4 years ago
    • Charlieb's Avatar

      Five years ago I was diagnosed with small fiber peripheral neuropathy. My neurologist sent me to an Oncologist to check for anything in the blood that may cause my problems. They found the MGUS marker which I was told might mean I was at risk for developing Multiple Myeloma in the future. No treatment was warranted at the time so they just started monitoring my proteins. For four years the levels were not good, but since I didn't have cancer they didn't do anything. Last year things developed and I was diagnosed Multiple Myeloma. The Oncologist said it was still too early for Chemo, but my Neurologist felt there was a connection between the rise in my protein levels and the increase in issues related to my neuropathy. Chemo was not clearly indicated for me at this time, but I had a doctor who I trusted and he felt I should go through chemo. I am now finishing round 3 of 4. Chemo has been terrible (look at some of my information) but I have no second thoughts. I'd rather they not be sure if I really needed to start chemo when I did and be cancer free, then have more issues down the road and wounder if I should have started chemo when I did. If you trust your doctor, listen to what they say and be comfortable with the decision.

      over 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      I think you're right to be concerned. Chemo has a load of side effects, and if it's not needed, then why do it? That said, it sounds like maybe your current healthcare team thinks you need it. So, the question is, how do you figure out the best treatment plan for you?

      How is it that they know it's a secondary cancer due to radiation?
      What is the risk that the cancer may recur without chemotheraphy?
      Did you have a biopsy? What were the results?

      And loads of other questions....
      I think the need for any treatment plan needs to be clearly explained to every patient.

      Cancer treatment, unfortunately, has a lot of uncertainty. So, it's very possible that chemo is NOT clearly indicated but that the doctor thinks it's a good idea... Definitely, it sounds like you need another appointment to make sure you have all the information you need to make a strong decision.

      Lastly, I would suggest the possibility of asking for a second opinion.
      That way, you'll have two professional opinions to work from.

      Good luck - I'm sorry you have breast cancer.

      over 4 years ago
    • Lynn's Avatar

      Hi Jonie :)
      My brother is dealing with kidney cancer from the radiation of a previous cancer... or so they believe that is what has happened. I can imagine how you are feeling.

      I think leepenn had a great suggestion: get a second opinion. You then have to weigh the benefits of chemo against no chemo. Each of us may come to a different conclusion. Key is to get as much information as you can so you can make a educated choice. Talk to your family also. Deciding how to move forward in treatment is a personal thing. Where I may say no way, others may not see any other way. The key is information.

      Best to you.

      over 4 years ago
    • Carol55's Avatar

      Definitely get a second opinion (or third) and get informed. Are the statistics on line? Is there any way you can deal in percentages? My percentages went from 10% possible return to 5% possible with chemo. It may not seem like much, but it was considered a "cure." Why did I do chemo with such a small difference? I looked to the future and said what can I live with? If it returned, I could not turn the clock back and say I sure wish I had done the chemo ten years earlier when I was younger and stronger. I could not live with that regret. I will never know if it helped, and I may get cancer again. But I live with the fact that I did everything I could possibly do to prevent it. I wish you well on whatever you decide. We can never completely predict the future. The best part is that you are being active in your decisions and getting informed. That's all any of us can do!!

      over 4 years ago

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