Lump removed,

Hello! Have just had lump removed with clear margins and no spread to lymph nodes. Just had appt and am struggling with decision which have to make in next few days re further treatment. Reccommendation is chemo, radio and 5 years of tamoxifen, or could just do radio and tamoxifen, or could do nothing?? as margins clear. Am 37 and would love to have family at some point. Not looking great with either of two treatment options, but less good with chemo option. Just wondered if anyone had any experience of having to make this decisionn or any advice? Thank you, H

Hi Helinks

Welcome to the forums, I am sure you will receive lots of support from your fellow users. In addition, you may find our publication ‘Younger women with breast cancer’ booklet helpful to read, it contains some ideas of ways you can access more support too. It includes information abour our helpline whcih you are welcome to call if you would like to talk in confidence to someone about the treatment options you have been given. You can read the booklet via the following link:

breastcancercare.org.uk/docs/bcc_yw06_web2_0.pdf

Best wishes
Lucy

Hi Helinks

So sorry about your dx, I am 45 yrs, I too had a lump removed invasive 22mm DCIS, no pos lymph node but was told only need rads and tamoxifan 5 yrs. I have researched the NICE guidlines and they say chemo recommended. Can you let me know your dx and where abouts in the country you are as I am trying to find out if it is a heath authority difference in following guidelines.

Thanks GillMc x

hi helinks

did they give you any percentages for how much each treatment option would benefit you by - i was told i’d a 50/50 chance of cancer recurring if i stopped treatment at the lumpectomy, adding chemo and rads and drugs to the equation took me to a 94% chance of no recurrence over ten years. these figures really helped me make the decision - i am taking everything they throw at me if it means it increases my chances. ask them to be more specifici about much or how little chemo will benefit you. lots of women seem to go for chemo even if it only offers 3 or 4% increase in outcome. good luck though, it’s a tough one, then again i am three chemo’s down now and though it’s not my most ideal way to spend time, it is not totally horrendous either for the peace of mind it may give. carrie x

Hi helinks,
I had 12mm tumour removed, clear margins no nodes involved…but because of the grade…3…and my age at dx…43…was told chemo was recommended.
Do you know what grade your tumour was?

karen x

Oh wow! Thank you so much for getting back to me - I’m really touched and a bit teary! Very stressful few days trying to fathom it all out and make the best decision. It was a grade 2 tumour that’s strongly Estrogen receptive. Your comments have really helped me clarify stuff and work out some questions. I’m off back to see the senior oncologist in Shrewsbury as they hadn’t got the message about me being concerned about fertility at the first appointment, so now they’re all talking to each other - fertility department, bc nurse and oncologist - which feels like at least I’ll be able to make a better informed decision. I need to clarify the % bit as was quite confused by it - I think out of an 8% chance of recurrence, 2.5 would be sorted by hormonal treatment. 3.5 by hormonal and 4.9 by both. Don’t want to jeapordise health by not taking chemo option, but don’t want to unecassarily close down option of having a family in the future if the risk is low. Aaaaaaaahhhhh!! Its such a hideous decision to have to make!! Lots of love to you all, and thank you so much for your messages, H xx

Dear Helinks. I’m in a similar position to you, except that I’ve already had my family. I am 51. My lump was 14mm, oestrogen-positive and there was no lymph spread. I’ve started a 5year course of Tamoxifen (been taking it a week now) and they have recommended a 5week course of radio. This is the bit I’m presently getting really screwed up about, because I don’t want even minimal damage to lungs and/or possibly my heart (my tumour was in my left breast). Chemo is not being recommended for me as they don’t think the cancer was aggressive enough, as I understand it. Interesting that they have recommended it for you. Anyway, it seems my only other option would be a mastectomy (in order to avoid the rads) It feels like a Catch 22 and I am going mad trying to come to a decision! Perhaps I should be asking them if I can do chemo instead…I had been so happy that I didn’t need it. I should ask your team if you really do need the chemo in view of what I’ve been told here. Best Wishes and Good Luck, Allegra

Hi Allegra,

They reccommended chemo to me because they said its “part of the discussion for all women under 40”. Good luck with your decision - someone described to me the process of being involved in your own treatment decisions as ‘a double edged sword’ - you sort of want to be but its bloody stressful and agonising as well! I called Breast Cancer Care on Friday and talked things through with one of the nurses there which really helped me to get some clarity - might be useful? I’m still stuck with trying to decide whether to blast my ovaries with chemo for a 2 and a half % survival benefit or not - got an appt with senior onc Monday after which I’ll have to commit one way or the other. Let me know how you get on if you feel like it. All the best and take care, H x