• treatment

    Asked by CASSIEME1 on Tuesday, October 4, 2016


    I had surgery first, chemo, radiation than ai meds. stage 1 breast cancer. Since my treatment I know 2 or 3 people with stage 3 that had chemo first than surgery. no oral meds whats the deal here.i have so many side effects that its unreal. I saw my oncologists last week and I said i'm on the count down 16 months to go. he made the statement that studies show some people need 10 years ai. I told him no! you told me 5 yeas at the beginning and I hurt too much I will not do 10 years.

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • Jouska's Avatar

      Everyone's treatment is different, which is about the only thing in common. Chemo is given before surgery if the tumor is quite large or sometimes if the staging is beyond stage 2. Radiation is almost always given if a lumpectomy is done - I assume you had a lumpectomy, not a mastectomy? If one is hormone receptor positive, AI's are typically given. You may want a more detailed discussion with your oncologist or a second opinion. I think there might now be a test to indicate if you would benefit longer term from AI's.

      over 4 years ago
    • Mom2Twins' Avatar

      There are also different types of breast cancer. I am triple negative, stage 2. I had chemo first, will be having my double mastectomy in a couple of weeks and then on to radiation. Triple negative breast cancer doesn't have a targeted treatment, so there are no oral medications that we can take to help ward of a reoccurrence. The only thing we have is time, the further out from diagnosis we get, the less chance of reoccurrence.

      over 4 years ago
    • Sheryl88's Avatar

      My oncologist also told me that I may have 10 years of therapy after radiation. There are new studies out that are showing positive results from the extended time. Right now we are going with 5 years, but he says it will probably change when more results come in from the studies.

      over 4 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I have a completely different type of cancer. However... when we were first coming up with a treatment plan, my gynecological surgeon wanted to do surgery first. My medical oncologist (the chemo guy) wanted to do chemo, then surgery, then chemo. Since my surgeon was also the head of oncology, he won. I don't think it's a matter that either course is inherently wrong -- just 2 different philosophies. And I think some of it has to do w/size of tumors. If tumors are large or entangled in something else, I believe they were use chemo to try to shrink the tumors or disentangle them prior to surgery. Don't have an answer on the AI front. Hope that helps.

      over 4 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar

      Like Mom2Twins, I had triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), Stage 1. There's no treatment so they threw the kitchen sink at it - chemo and rads.

      What I don't understand about your treatment is that it isn't the virulent TNBC and they're doing so much.... I'd be real concerned....

      Maybe get a second opinion from someone not affiliated with the hospital?

      over 4 years ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar

      I understand your frustration but it is so true that everyone is different even though there are common treatment plans. I was stage III and I had surgery first. I had a small tumor but significant lymph node involvement. My surgeon and oncologist discussed if chemo would be better before or after and I trusted them to make the right decision. I had a bilateral mastectomy although I was given other options. I also know that there are different chemo protocols. I had AC and then Taxol but I know some who just have Taxol. I had radiation as well and I am now on Exemestane. I took Anastrozole first and had such horrible bone and joint pain that I switched. I was off Anastrozole for a month and my pain decreased a bit but not significantly. I've only been on Exemestane for a week so I have no idea if this AI will be tolerable. I obviously want to do everything possible to prevent a recurrence especially considering my staging. I know some people who stop AIs because of the side effects. I'm assuming you had an oncotype score that indicated the need for chemo since you were stage 1. I don't know if there is any link between oncotype score and whether 5 or 10 years of AIs is better. Great things to ask your oncologist.

      over 4 years ago
    • CASSIEME1's Avatar


      over 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I stopped AIs after 3 1/2 years back in 2010. I had bilateral, chemo, radiation, AIs and also oophorectomy. I had side effect after side effect on the AIs. My oncologist still sees me every 6 months and at every appointment asks me if I want to try them again. My answer is always No!,, Quality of life is important. I know I gave it my all and did everything I could to treat this awful disease.

      over 4 years ago
    • Whitey61's Avatar

      Similar situation...large aggressive Prostate tumor, chemo first was protocol to shrink it before surgery to avoid unnecessary metastases to surrounding area.every case is different

      over 4 years ago

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