Spread to lymph nodes- what should I be asking at appointment?

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Helll,

I have stage 3 breast cancer- spread to lymph nodes. I have undergone a mastectomy and full lymph node removal and am now meeting with my oncologist for the first time in a couple of days. I am expecting chemo and then radio but unsure what forms this will take.

is there anything you wish you had asked? Anything that I should be asking. I really just want to check that whatever is planned is 100%the best course for me. I have had lots of hold up abs was initially reassured that it was stage 0 dcis which has been absolutely terryifying for it to now has escalated all the way up to stage 3.

is there anything you wish you had asked at the time but didn’t? 

  • I wish I had asked how do you know if this treatment is working. Its natural for us to think every niggle is cancer,  also all the treatment and drugs have side effects. So it's mot as simple as if presenting with symptoms. 

  • I asked this question and for me my oncologist said they don’t know as can’t monitor via scans as there’s nothing there so far. My mri scan before surgery only showed cancer in breast and lymph nodes. 

  • How many nodes,  what type ER+/PR+/HER2+/TNBC? Was there LVI? Was there extracapsular spread? Which chemo, how many of each,  what order? Are you trying to cold cap? I wish I'd stopped at 3 EC and asked to, but the 4th was really bad and I ended in A&E and have permanently high blood pressure now.  Are they looking at the new Predict Breast which factors in chemo risk (my old gain has changed from 4% to 3.6% will this old one and now 0.6% which would have been a no!

    https://breast.v3.predict.cam/

    “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.  Stephen Hawking,
  • Thanks so much for this. Really helped me today.