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    Ejourneys asked a questionBreast Cancer

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    OwMahBoob wrote on Ejourneys's wall

    Hi Ejourneys. I just signed up on here, so forgive me if you've answered this many times before (I'm checking around but don't see where this info would be).
    I noticed that your cancer and mine are about the same and we're about the same age, too. I know you did the estrogen blocking drugs. Did you have chemo, too? If so, what kind of chemo did you have and how often/how many sessions? And did you have radiation afterward? How long?
    I've already had my surgery. Initially, it looked like just rads but no chemo. But the Med Oncol that I met last week surprised me with the fact that I need chemo. (I actually didn't like her at all and am seeing a new one later this week). But in the meantime, I'm wondering why she felt strongly about chemo.
    My oncotype is 21 (13% chance of recurrence). Stage 1A, clear margins, clear nodes. 1.1 cm tumor. No genetic propensities. She seemed to be basing her decision just on the Oncotype. I see your number was 22 with 14%, so since we're very similar, I'm curious what your oncol had you do and how you did with it. : )
    Thank you so much!

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      Ejourneys

      Hi, OwMahBoob (love the name) -- welcome to WhatNext and welcome to the club no one wants to join.

      I had lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation in 2014 and have been on anastrozole for 3 years and change. Was 55 when I was diagnosed. My surgeon and I initially thought my recurrence score would be low and I wouldn't need chemo, but when my Oncotype DX came back as intermediate my oncologist recommended chemo due to both that score and my age. Each year beyond active treatment factors into the risk, so the cumulative risk would have been lower if I had been older at diagnosis.

      My oncologist warned me that other oncologists might not choose that kind of aggressive treatment. My radiation oncologist said I was a borderline case but he agreed with my medical oncologist. I asked around, did some online research, and decided to go for the chemo. I had four cycles (each infusion three weeks apart) of Adriamycin and Cytoxan, followed by 12 weekly cycles of Taxol. That was followed by 33 rounds of radiation. My tumor (1.8 cm) was on the left, so I received IMRT: intensity-modulated radiation therapy. IMRT divides the radiation area into different fields with different intensities so as to protect the heart and lung. I showed no BRCA mutations.

      I blogged throughout my treatment, detailing my experiences here:
      https://csn.cancer.org/blog/224566

      In addition to WhatNext, I am active at Breast Cancer Social Media (#BCSM). We hold tweet chats Monday nights at 9 PM Eastern. I blogged about them at https://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/bcsm-breast-cancer-social-media-support/. Their website is http://bcsm.org/.

      Please feel free to ask any questions. I'll do my best to answer them. And good luck! You've got this.

      2 days ago
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      OwMahBoob

      Wow! Thank you so much for that detailed answer. Very helpful. You're awesome! : )

      2 days ago