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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 10/20/2006 3:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Friends,
I had my first visit yesterday with my onocologist.  He went over all my records and talked to me at length.  I liked him a lot.  He said I was a "grade II, stage 1, estrogen and progestrin positive, he's doing HERfish test, and a muga scan to test my heart strenth.  He said I that, as is, I have a 25% chance of the cancering recurring in the next 10 years.  With hormone therapy, radiation and chemo that can be brought down to 8%.
Then he started telling me about a study that is going on titled:  Phase III Randomized Study of Adjuvant Combination chemotherapy and Hormonal Therapy Versus Adjuvant Hormonal Therapy Alone in Women With Previously resected Axillary Node-negative Breast Cancer With Various Levels of risk for recurrence. (TAILORx Trial).  If I understand this correctly and my score is below 11 I will need no chemo.  If it is above 25 chemo is mandated.  If it is between 12 and 24... 1/2 of the women recieve no chemo and the other 1/2 of them do.  That is the study... do the women with no chemo fair worse than those with the chemo.
I don't know what to do.  What if I am one of those that falls in the 12-24 group and does not fair well?  Or, on the other hand what if I don't take the test and end up taking chemo needlessly because I was below 11?  Or, what if I take the chemo and it affects my heart negatively (previous heart problem).  Lord have mercy, I don't know what to do.
Right now the plan is to have the muga test on Monday and see the onc again on Thursday.  I will ask him more questions then.  I just want to be better prepared.  Do any of you have any insight or suggestions on this?
My gut feeling is to just take the chemo, radiation, and hormone therapy because that is what seems to work the best. 
Any advice or guidance will be appreciated.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 10/20/2006 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sure you will get differing responses, but I would do chemo. Going from 25% risk of recurrence to 8% is a major difference. What if you could benefit from chemo and you don't get it? What if the cancer, God forbid, comes back? You would always wonder if you should have had chemo. I've always been one to do EVERYTHING humanly possible to fight this battle. I've been NED for 6 1/2 years and I thank God everyday for giving me the tools to fight. I wish you the very best.
Do not go gentle into that goodnight,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
~Dylan Thomas

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 10/20/2006 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I always hated "choices" too.  Just tell me what is recommended for me and I'll take it from there.  As far as chemo is concerned re your start of 25% down to 8%, I think it might be of interest to you to find out what percentage of the 17% decrease is chemo.  I'll bet it's 3 or 4%.  Radiation and the hormonal therapies will be the big percentages.  Ask your onc and let us know.
My cancer was Stage 2b, 2 pos. nodes and high est. and prog. numbers.  I'm a little over 9 years out.
All good thoughts and outcomes for you whatever method you choose.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 829
   Posted 10/20/2006 8:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm with Glenda and Julie. I would do anything I could to fight this disease. I was in a trial, over 10 years ago but I knew what I was getting. I had it all, chemo, rads, and many surgeries. But, the end decision is yours.

A good friend will bail you out of jail...
but a true friend will be sitting
next to you saying,
"Dâmn... that was fun!".

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