Anyone refused Chemo?


I had a grade three, triple neg tumor which had spread to 1/13 lymph nodes removed in December.

I am now due to start 6 treatments of chemo.  I am really not happy about having chemotherapy.  I don’t have parabens in my make up / showergel or fluoride in my toothpaste - you get the idea.  The thought of having this disgusting toxic cocktail injected into me is filling me with dread. Has anyone said no to the Chemo route and just had radio therapy? My hospital will support me if I make this decision but my oncologist said she wouldn’t be doing her job if she didn’t recommend me having it. I can’t believe in this day and age that this one size fits all treatment is all there is.



Hi Beebeck and welcome to the BCC forums

In addition to the support you will find here, please feel free to call our helpliners to talk through your concerns and queries about your treatment options.  Our team are here for you with practical and emotional support on 0808 800 6000, lines are open weekdays 9-5 and Saturdays 10-2.

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Take care

Lucy BCC

Radiotherapy will only kill cancer cells that may still be present in the breast area and chemotherapy is for the whole body. When cancer is found in the lymph nodes this shows that the cancer is trying to make a move and cells have got into the blood/lymph system and have the potential to travel to other parts of the body. Chemo isn’t very nice but it could be a life saver. 

All the best xx

As you are triple negative there is no other treatment for you other than radiotherapy and chemo. The radiotherapy should kill off any cancer remaining in your breast but as you had cancer in one of your nodes there is a risk it may have spread to your vascular system. Only the chemo can combat this. It is, of course, your decision whether or not to take that risk.  I don’t know what family you have, but I suggest you talk to them. Personally, I wanted everything thrown at my cancer or I couldn’t have lived with the worry that I hadn’t done all I could to kill it off. I finished my chemo last July, had radiotherapy, and have 4 more Herceptin doses to go. I don’t regret a second of it. I wish you the best of luck whatever decision you make. xxx

Hi Beebeck


I am giving you the link the the ‘Predict’ tool with which you can work out what benefits chemo will give you. Bearing in mind you can’t have Herceptin and can’t have a hormone tablet like Tamoxifen etc. I wouldn’t have thought you have much choice in the matter. Personally I would rather have chemo than radio - in fact, I did have chemo but not radio. Anyway, here is the tool, use it and see what you think.



Thanks everyone,

I am going to talk to my ONC again as having had a long conversation with Macmillan about this and the Predict tool giving just a 5-7% margin on survival/recurrence with chemo - I’m even more determined not to go down this route. I want to know how they are going to support me if I say no.  When I had my oncology appointment I thought she would explain all this to me not just go over what treatment I had then tell me that she would not be doing her job if she didn’t advise me to have the cocktail of poison!  I really didn’t like that for each side effect there was another drug they could pump into you to cure it, as well as the anti sickness drugs and the steroids. Im going to take a lot more convincing than ‘I wouldn’t be doing my job’.  We are not sheep, we are intelligent women who need to question these things. IF I get a recurrence of cancer, I will not be kicking myself because I didn’t have chemo, I will deal with it as I have dealt with this, by questioning and research and talking to my peers.

Hi Beebeck


I know exactly where you are coming from.  I had a Stage 2 tumour removed in december and 1/15 of my lymph nodes was positive.  Unlike yourself I can have tamoixifen as mine was ER positive.  The oncologist has receommended chemotherapy and I totally dread it and have considered refusing it and just having radiotherapy and tamoxifen.  My husband says he wouldn’t take the chemo but having got two daughters I feel that I have no choice to give myself the chance of being around for them.  It is so so difficult to make a decision.  Are you considering refusing it then ?   The Oncologist said that it is obviously my choice but I don’t feel I have a choice.   xxxxx Pinkrunner xxxx

Hi - l havent got any kids and my partner of 12 years died last July so l dont have to take those things into consideration - good luck x

Two weeks after L mastectomy and I have my results ER- PR- and Her2 not yet received but I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up triple negative what a b@mmer. 

So I had 48mm DCIS 17mm invasive and 1/3 sentinel nodes positive.

See the oncologist next week for discussion about chemo. And I have a small area of necrosis on my scar so my formerly C cup runneth over.

But have been told that my expander pumping up can still go ahead once the area heals and then down the line my permanent implant can be inserted. And do I want to take part in a randomised clinical trial of chemo only or chemo plus axillary clearance? So that’s OK isn’t it!

If I was well enough to drive the car I’d be out on the fells having a good stamp and shout round the countryside. 

At this moment it seems a bit belt and braces and I feel like rejecting the chemo for the minute % chance it won’t recur. 


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Hi Mel xxx thx - never has a comment meant more to me!! I’m feeling a bit better about it now - had a bit of a panic attack about it all - oncologist said 4 months then rest of ur life o get on with … No one s pretending this will b easy but am a bit more comfortable with decision now xx thx again xxx

Hi rose * hugs* - will fb u tomorrow my love xxx onco test debated but oncologist felt Chemo right decision his words “I’m making it for you really” xx

Hi letter in post but expecting it to b start of March xx maybe we’ll b together? Xxx lots love
I looked at chemo advice thread ( through squinty eyes kind of trying not to look) and figure sweets and pineapple sound ok :wink:

Hi Lynda xxx I have had a similar experience with my gp receptionist. A friend recommended Anna bandana as a site for hair stuff - been on and quite liked some of it ( Well … In the context …) made me feel slightly reassured that I could try to manage my appearance a bit xx hair cut tomorrow - was already booked for usual but will b going for shorter ( depressing - hencey headwear googling ) … On a positive - over by summer for us? Lots love x

Ps I will bbon fec not fec t - do you know what kind of cocktail u are getting ?

Pps - sorry have realised that the original thread here is a bit strayed from path x will use other threads x