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    Jonie shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Hormone therapy)

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    Jonie posted an update

    Made the decision not to have chemo. The very small percentage of benefit did not outweigh the huge list of risks for me. I am feeling very relieved with finally being able to make a decision. Now I am ready to move on to starting hormone therapy.

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    Jonie posted an update

    The reason for the confusion is that everything seems to be on the borderline. I had Hodgkins Disease 30 years ago and received radiation therapy. Breast cancer is the number one risk factor for this type of radiation. My cancer was very small but because I couldn't have radiation again, Mastectomy was my only option. I opted to have both breasts removed. I have E+ and HER2- and no lymph node involvement. I had 2 tumors in the breast that I had Oncotype testing done on. My numbers were 18 (chemo most likely not beneficial) and a 13 (chemo not beneficial). My oncologist thinks that because I am young enough, I should have the Chemo anyway. I just feel that the benefit does not outweigh the risks here. Chemo has risks both short and long term and I already feel like risks from my past don't need a few more risks from my present to join them. I am in the medical profession and have really considered all my information. I'm not sure a second opinion can sway my decision.

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    Jonie asked a questionBreast Cancer

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

    5 answers
    • 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 9 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 9 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 9 years ago