I had surgery 4 weeks ago to remove large tumor from breast. Pathology came came back triple negative stage TA2, grade 3, with a clear margine 10 lymph nodes were also taken and all clear. I was under the impression radiation was the go and then all finished. Yesterday was my first oncology visit and I was told I'd need 6 rounds of chemo before radiation. Now I'm very confused. Why do I need chemo if there's no sign of cancer anywhere in my body? I'd be interested in talking to anyone who has refused chemo or who has had a similar cancer and decided to have chemo.
I was in the similar situation but with different cancer(Uterus stage3)and I thought I will get away with only radiation but was also offered to go into the trial for chemotherapy, which was the worse I think then when they told me that I have cancer. Then my oncologist explained to me that once you have the cancer in the third stage would be advisable to have the chemo too just in case that cancer has spread in some distance lymph nodes which they couldn't take out by the surgery.
I didn't want to scare you but it's good to be careful even when we know what damage chemotherapy can bring to us but I was scared that if I refuse the chemo and the cancer comes back...hm. It was difficult decision and I also asked here for some opinions or experiences and I finally decided to give it a go. Now, I'm 5 months after the whole adventure and it wasn't too bad anything of it but now I'm still recovering my energy which they say can last for a few more months.
Now you have to decide, whoever or whatever it was told it is on you to decide and I wish you all good luck possible.
I had a different type of cancer nearly 10yrs ago and at that time Radiotherapy was recommended.
Whatever you decide, do your research, understand the possible side effects both short and long term, and then most importantly - OWN the decision.
I found this has become important for me along the recovery journey, I needed to feel the treatment plan was my decision, it gave me back some of the "control" that the cancer diagnosis eroded.
Go well - stay positive & all the best during your recovery.
Hi Lynda, I am only just checking in on messages, and this MAY help you. My doctor explained the chemo as being more of a mopping up of cells that MAY be there, but still way too small to be detected. The radiotherapy specifically targets the known site of the cancer, again for cells to small to be detected that MAY be there. I also had brachytherapy to really SUPERZAP the specific area that the cancer was mostly likely re-occur. NONE of this meant that there WERE cancer cells still around, but was covering all bases. All my pet scans were completely clear of anything showing up, so I feel very confident now. My checks are every three months for - I think - the first two years, then not sure how long.
Just try to think of the chemo as another shot of insurance, and I do hope you are as fortunate as me, and don't suffer any side effects.......
my very best wishes to you
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