Stopping Chemo

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I had a lumpectomy for TNBC and was told it was essential to follow up with chemotherapy. I had one weeks worth of oral chemotherapy and ended up in hospital, which we thought might happen as I have a number of other medical issues.

it looks as though I won’t be able to continue with chemotherapy which concerns me greatly because all that I had heard or read about TNBC if you don’t have chemotherapy the outlook is poor. I am 72 and although I have a number of other medical issues I lead a very active life.

  • Hello, sorry to hear what has happened to you.  I read recently that there is a new drug for tnbc called Trodelvy - it might be worth you asking your medical professional about that.  Also, have you not been offered radiotherapy after your lumpectomy?

  • I have been offered radiotherapy but that was to follow chemotherapy. I always thought radiotherapy was second best to chemotherapy 

  • Yes, I think you are correct.  I just wondered as you cannot tolerate chemo, you might have been offered radiotherapy instead.  Sorry to hear of your dilemma and I hope something is worked out for you soon.

  • Sorry this has happened to you. The order in which you are offered surgery and chemo is usually based on the stage of the cancer. As you had surgery first, was your cancer early stage? Did you have any lymph nodes removed and if so, were they clear? Whilst they can’t tell you whether your cancer will recur or not, they should be able to give you some statistical data based on people with a similar profile. NHS Predict Breast is a good place to look to get some idea of the range of outcomes of people with a similar profile, you may find your outlook isn’t necessarily poor. 

    As an example, I am mid 60s and am having adjuvant chemo for a grade 3 18mm TNBC with no lymph node involvement. Per NHS Predict Breast, something like 17% of people like me have fatal recurrence within 5 years without chemo. Chemo plus Zoledronic acid reduces the risk within this population by just under 50%. So 83% of people like me didn’t need the chemo. 

  • Hello Coddfish. Your  message to member 322 is very interesting.  I am in my 80's and had a mastectomy for a 19mm grade 3 cancer.  Lymph nodes were removed and were cancer connected so I then had 15 rounds of radiotherapy.  I was not offered chemo because of my age and tolerating side effects.  However, I have had 3 annual infustions of Zoledronic ~Acid for Osteoporosis so I wonder if that is going to not only help the bone mass, but also cancer recurrence.   

  • That’s what I was told. I don’t have osteoporosis.