6% benefit from chemotherapy

Hi. I am 44 andhave been told that I benefit 6% from chemotherapy. I had a mastectomy , node clearance with only 1 positive node and 2 isolated cells and will be on tamoxifen , her 2 negative , hormone positive.
Don’t need radiotherapy as I had a clear margin.
I am so confused if to have chemotherapy or not as I benefit only 6%.
Please advice if anyone been in similar situation.

Hi sahil786

You might find it helpful to give our Helpline a call to talk this over.  They are open from 9-5 on weekdays and 10-2 on Saturdays.  The number is 0808 800 6000

Very best wishes


BCC Moderator

I’m 42, right mx, clear margins, node negative, her2+, hormone positive, some lymphovascular invasion. I was told 5% benefit from chemo and decided to do it as I would have regretted not doing it. I finished chemo almost 4 weeks ago and am on tamoxifen and having herceptin injections every three weeks until April.

Good luck in making your decision x


I am 44 ,I have had a lumpectomy with clear margins node clearance.

I am er+ ,I was told I would need radio and hormone treatment, chemotherapy was up to me (hard decision to make) I decided to have it I felt I had to do everything I could I had 6 cycles of chemo follows by radio finished that 3 weeks ago now on zoladex injections and anastrozole.


ST 1

Hi Sahil,
Had WLE and SNB with clear Nodes and margins and no vascular invasion. I wonder why you ladies are not having rads?? I am Er+ and Her neg. My odds similar 3-5% difference having chemo. I decided not to have it for various reasons. I live alone and wouldnt really have the support networks needed. Friends have their own lives etc. This is such a personal decision but i can honestly say I dont regret it. I’m now halfway through rads and have started tamoxifen. The hospital is also putting me on Zoladex injections for a belt and braces appeoach to make sure it doesnt come back. Perhaps ask ur oncs about Zoladex too. Hope this helps xxxx

Ask more opinions from doctors.
1 positive node ?

Hi all, I’m in a similar position have had eke @ SNB - clear nodes and margins, ER+ & HER- but a grade 3 . Have had oncotype dx test came back low intermediate (score 22) . On I has left choice of chemo to me as test says only a benefit of 4% if I have chemo. Really on the sat on the fence atm as feel that the side effects out weigh the very small benefit but also really scared that if I don’t do chemo I will regret it later on . Really don’t know what to do? Just wondering what other people were advised in a similar position. Any advice/ suggestions welcome .

Same as you Gaynor clear nodes Grade 2. 3-5% difference with chemo. After thinking decided not to go for it as live alone and that was a big factor in my decision. I am now just about to finish rads:-) . Oncs have put me on 2 years Zoladex injections as well as 10 years tamoxifen. They said Zoladex was a belt and braces approach to make sure it doesn’t come back. I had a large tumour 58mm Er and Pro +. I hope that helps you and can honestly say dont regret my decision. At the end of the day its your choice so allow yourself time to mull it over. Hugs Dee xxxx

Gaynor, I’m same as you, WLE, ER+ HER2- but a grade 3. Team advised chemo and my rates improved by 8% on chemo and 7% on rads. I’m doing it. First blast on 10th, 2nd on wed. It was hard thinking before, but easier when got numbers. My surgeon and onc were very pro it. I felt I gave to put my trust in them, and I wanted to throw everything at it. Its belt and braces, and I have a long way to go, but even if numbers were less i think I would gave said yes. If I was part of that small group it made a diff for, its worth it to me. But my decision was made easier by incredibly supportive husband etc. Am being well looked after and work gave been good to. Not easy, but good luck on whatever you pick x

Hi gaynor

I read your post,  did you come to a decision?  I have to tell my oncologist on Tuesday if I am going to take the chemo or not, 2% benefits

hopefully you’re doing ok whatever you decided x

sheena xx

Hi sheena
I haven’t finally decided yet about doing chemo yet, I have done lots of research and I am leaning towards not doing it but I am seeing another oncologist on Thursday for a 2nd opinion. Hope you are doing ok and all goes well on Tuesday no matter what you decide . Let me know what you have decided after Tuesday.
Good luck x

Hallo, I only have one more session of chemo to go, I was a bit similar to you, age 45, high grade 3 tumours removed with mastectomy, clear margins with no need for radiotherapy. I will try tamoxifen after too as oestrogen positive . I had no lymph node involvement, but was still given 6% benefit of chemo, plus 6% on too with tamoxifen.
I went in with the attitude of " let’s just do this, it’s a small window in my life " I has more doubts afters I started as I realised I didn’t really need to do this and of course you don’t see any benefit , just side effects!
But I am nearly there now. I think If I hadn’t had it , I may have had a niggling worry on my head for the future. Good luck with whatever decision you make ! X

Hi All,

Just reading these comments and hope you can help me…

Diagnosed in May with Grade 1 ductal invasive carcinoma. Just had surgery lumpectomy+ reconstruction with removal of lymph nodes ( as 1 out if 3 was showing signs of cancerous cells)

In initial talks with Dr was told def radiotherapy v.unlikely chemo.

Following results from surgery I have  been told her2 neg and hormone + and as lymph node affected then they would offer chemo ( my choice to have)  definitely rad and hormone tablets for 5yrs

Meeting oncologist next week to find out my %re benefits of chemo and am leaning towards not having it but to help me try and decide can any of you share with me how bad it is. I’m fine with the hair loss but as I have a young daughter 1.5yrs ( and wanting  try to another soon) how bad are side effects in terms of fatigue sickness etc etc Can you still function and do day to days things or do you need someone at home with you? 

Thank you in advance 

Hi Potts and welcome, I am sure the support and shared experiences here will be helpful, there is another thread running which may also be of interest to you, users currently going through chemo can answer any queries or concerns you may have if you wish to post here:


Please read about our ‘Someone like me’ support service too as we have volunteers who have had chemo who can support you in making an informed decision on a one to one basis via telephone or email which may also help:


Take care
Lucy BCC

I have just had my 4th chemo after being diagnosed with grade 3 idc her2+ er-, no lymph involvement. I was advised to have chemo to reduce my chances of reoccurance in the future and I took it full on, give me all you’ve got to get rid of this. I see it as a small period in my life to make sure Ive taken everything going to try and make sure I’m still here for my kids. Chemo for me has been okay. A bit rough day 1 -3 then back to normal from day 4 onwards. Everyone is different and only you can make that decision but for me it wasn’t an option, more a necessary evil. What ever decision u make has to be right for you and your family. Good luck with everything xxx

Hi sahil… It is a very personal choice but my onc spoke to me a lot about anxiety and quality of life going forward. I decided to blast it was everything I can so as not to be looking over my shoulder. I’m a real worrier! I’m on FEC75 just had second lot. I’m 41 with two girls, 9 and 6. I am continuing to work, but from home. I generally keep going during the day and go to bed early and this seems to be working fine. If I sleep during the day I actually feel worse as I feel like a sick person! It is so different for everyone though. Good Luck with your decision and I asked my oncologist what she would do and she said I would go for it all. Xxx

Hi Potts01 - we seem to be similar - I have invasive ductal ca, Stage 1, Her2 neg, hormone positive. I had lumpectomy with sentinnel node biopsy and as 1:3 showed cancerous cells went on to have full axilary clearance which showed the lymph nodes to be clear. I was not given an option for chemo but did consider as the lymph nodes were clear and did I want to put myself through the trauma of chemo. I decided to go ahead as it would be just 5 months of my life but I would know if there were any rogue cells lurking they had been zapped rather than spend future years worrying if any ailment or lump was a cancer somewhere else. I feel I am doing chemo, radiotherapy and Tamoxifen as prevention of any future cancer as a result of this breast cancer.  Good luck.