Treatments - yes or no?

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Good morning, 

Recently diagnosed with 18mm breast lump & lymph node involvement. I'm only 35 & have 3 children. 

Oncologist has said I'll definitely need surgery but before that as a preventative to have 4 rounds of chemotherapy and then possibly more once we know if HER2 + or -

My question is - the chemo only gives an additional 7% on top for recurrence he said. We've read all the side effects etc and it doesn't look great (even years down the line). We told him we want to think about it before agreeing to it. Have any of you opted just for surgery or regret having chemo? Obviously he said its my choice. 

Thank you Blush 

T

  • Hi JMA1988, 

    I am very sorry you are here and facing this diagnosis and the impact this has on your family too. I am 43 and diagnosed with ductal breast cancer in November. 

    Everyone is different of course and the diagnosis is a huge shock but every treatment results in increasing our chances to live a long, healthy life. I was praying and hoping I wouldn't need chemo, but when they told me that it would give me a benefit of survival of 4%, I thought this was quite significant and had no second thoughts about it. 

    Chemo sucks but there is a lot of help and information out there, from the nurses, charities, forums like this one that helped me incredibly to prepare and to deal with every single thing that I faced during and after chemo. 

    So, I did not regret a moment about opting in for chemo. I am grateful that medical research and the experience of all the women have helped increasing my survival chances. There is always a risk for recurrence, but at least I will know that we exhausted all medical treatment to prevent that. 

    Wishing you all the best in your journey, 

    Christina 

  • Hello JMA1988,

    I am also 35 with a child. Diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. 

    I didn’t have the option of just surgery. My lump is approx 5.5cm so I am having chemo to reduce the size and then surgery for removal. 

    statistics are great to a certain extent. They are a grey area and the actual statistic will never be correct. 

    Chemo and immuno are hard, however, an increase in survival was and is my aim. Everyone is different. You may not get anything or you may get everything along the way. This ultimately is your decision.  

    Good luck in deciding xx

  • Hi T,

    I was 35 when diagnosed in 2021 with triple negative breast cancer. At the time, I never even considered what the benefit of chemo was (it was also preventative chemo), I just trusted my oncologist. Although, I'm quite sure that even if it would have been 1% I probably would still have taken it as I couldn't bear the thought of a recurrence and the thought of 'what if' I could have avoided it. Triple negative cancer was too scary for me to take any risks. Anything that gave me better chance for long term survival was worth it as my main goal was to do whatever I could to not die anytime soon.

    Personally, I didn't find chemo too bad at all, it was very manageable.

    It's something that's very much your choice, and I hope you find the right path for you - wishing you the best of luck xx

  • Thank you all for your advice and stories. 

    My MRI has came back showing more cancerous cells than originally thought so looking at a full legt mastectomy now rather than lumpectomy. 

    I'm ER+ and HER2- and they've told me this is quite uncommon for someone of my age to have. They've also took bloods for gene testing that will take 8 weeks to come back. 

    Looking like definitely chemo, radio and hormone treatment now. 

    Now I need to decide if I want reconstruction or not. Any thoughts? I obviously don't want to have a bigger op than absolutely necessary. 

    Thanks ladies Blush

  • Hi 

    would they do the reconstruction at the same time or can you have the mastectomy and then take sometime to see how you feel?
    im so sorry you are going through this. And I understand the anxiety you feel especially about your kids. Have you said anything to them yet? I was dreading it but weirdly it felt better to tell them something (maybe not all the details!) and they have been great. Tbh it’s sort of interesting how quickly they get on with their lives! There’s a lesson in there somewhere 

  • They said they would do it at the same time if I opted for that. I'm leaning more towards just having the mastectomy. The breast nurse said it'll be done in day surgery and home the same day which I was shocked about. My surgeon us is worried about the risk of lymphedema if we don't do the chemo 1st.

    Yes my 13 year old knows what's going on and I keep her upto date with it all. My two youngest (9&7) know mummy has a lump and will need an op to remove. Haven't told them the "C" word as I don't want to scare them. 

    J x