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options other than Chemo?
10 Posts
I have my 3 week post Op app tomorrow after mastectomy (IDC) dr suggested chemo at my first app but I really dont want to go that route. Looking at other treatments. Anyone out there who didn't go the chemo route?
5 Replies
Runner Girl
2797 Posts


Many women don't need chemo or decline to have chemo. I was not one of them. My oncologist is the expert, he said I needed chemo so I had chemo. I wasn't going to leave any stone unturned in my fight against my aggressive breast cancer. I also had 1 year of herceptin because I am HER2+. I had 21 rounds of radiation as well.

In some cases if you don't take chemo you can do radiation.

Best to hear out your oncologist and ask the questions of why he believes you need chemo, if indeed that is the case. Weigh your options and make the best decision that you can live with.

Perhaps peruse this discussion: https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/48/71909?post_id=382740#p382740

30 Posts

@sunflowerpj Hello! I didn't qualify for the oncotype testing because my monthly cycle was wonky after my DMX so they said it would be unreliable because I was premenopausal. So chemo it is! The grind of chemo is manageable and despite losing my hair I've been fairly unscathed. When we hear about chemo treatments we are hearing the bad stuff most often. My energy level isn't where it was before, and this cancer has been a huge buzz kill but chemo sends in the army to patrol our bodies for the bad guys. You can do it!

178 Posts

I would consider the chemo if that was suggested. In my case I was basically thinking do whatever it takes to get rid of this. If chemo is what it takes then you have that assurance. In my case the cancer has got so bad that the typical chemo regimin wasn't enough and it was completely taken off the table and this honestly scared me. I was too forgone for even chemo and that is scary

The fact that I am on a chemo /immunotherapy plan now gives me hope. If it does turn out that you don't need it, there may be other treatment options, than so be it. I wouldn't write it off completely though, it might be what works best

1628 Posts

@sunflowerpj I hope your appointment goes well today. It sounds like you’re seeing the surgeon today. Typically the oncologist discusses and manages the non-surgical parts of your treatment and the surgeon may refer your questions/concerns to the oncologist.

I was 59 years old when I was presented with chemo as a treatment option for my triple negative breast cancer. When the oncologist told me the numbers for life expectancy (80 years without and 82 years with) I did decline it as it didn’t make sense for me. Just a few weeks later I was also diagnosed with ovarian cancer and ended up doing chemo anyway. At the time when I was making the decision about chemo, I did say to my support team that if I was younger, my decision would have been to have chemo.

Although not pleasant, chemo was not as bad as I imagined and how tv portrays it.

It will be important for you to understand why they believe chemo is necessary and what the risks/benefits are. Make sure you ask lots of questions so you have all the information you need. I believe that you will make a decision that is right for you. Know we are here to support you now matter your decision.

1995 Posts

@sunflowerpj hope your appointment went well and everything is healing well.

Your surgeon will refer you to an oncologist who will determine whether you need chemo and discuss your options with you. They will set out the risks of recurrence and the benefits of chemo for you and they will help you make a decision. It’s your decision.

I had triple negative like @JustJan but at age 49 when diagnosed I needed to hit it hard to give myself a good chance of a long and healthy life. Chemo wasn’t as bad as I expected. I was fit and healthy and it stood me in good stead but the drugs are good and they work hard to manage your side effects and fatigue.

Good luck making your decision. Essjay

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