Min chemo for 4.8%?

Hello lovely people out there who have been through chemo (or going through it)

I’m currently in the “grey” area for chemo and I may be put forth for ONCO (if they can get it approved - guidance changed 9 May and I may just not qualify being a few month shy of 50) or OPTIMA

As it stands with a basic calculation , chemo will improve my chance of no reoccurrence by 4.8%

Genomic tests may or may not change this %

I’m concerned as the default chemo regime seems to be x 4 EC x 4 Pax (?)

From what I see this is a very aggressive response for someone like me who is borderline.

Has anyone else out there been in a similar situ & what were your options?

Is the EC most important? Can I ask for a reduced regime ? Reduced dosage ? Feels like the drugs given are horrific and they max out to the patient and see how they respond.

It would be good to fully understand what is possible and not just been thrown to the wolves.


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Hi, from what I understand if you are having chemo it’s best to hit the cancer cells hard in order to eliminate them. They are sneaky and can mutate and come back even stronger if not killed off. Chemo is given to eliminate any cancer cells that have migrated into the general circulation, here they can hide. Hormone therapy can kill most of these cancer cells but sometimes the hormone therapy just puts the cancer cells into hibernation and recurrence can occur many years later. Dr Liz O’Riordan explains this really well in one of her you tube videos.

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Thank you for this

I’m having a look at her videos

She seemed to have an awful time during chemotherapy and i just can’t imagine getting through 16 weeks of it

I want to fully understand risk v benefits for all cycles vs just taking the EC but hard to find it xxx

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@idcand49 I chose chemo and didn’t even consider looking at onx tests or predict scores with my oncologist. I had grade 1 2 x small tumours but 2 lymph node positive. I was not going to take any risks.

I’m due to have 4 x ec and 4 x pax every 2 weeks. Yes, I am terrified but I’m more terrified of cancer. As my lovely 14 year old boy said when we told him ‘better to be bald and ill than dead’ !!!

I’m starting in June and I know this is going to be grim but by the end of the year I’ll be free again. Short term pain long term gain x


You don’t have to be bald give cold cap a go . I did and kept most of my hair x

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I wonder if I need to be more forthright too

Thanks for your thoughts as much to think about xxx

@idcand49 my oncologist did say that the 4 x ec was the most beneficial and the next 4 was another layer on top. He’s happy if I want to stop after the ec so I guess I could consider this and the benefits of continuing!

Good luck … keep us informed. None of this is easy but for me it was to ensure that cancer never comes back and I live a long and happy life. I’m 51 so mid menopause!! x

Hi there @idcand49. I’m facing similar decision. I have IDC with dcis and 2 nodes positive. My benefit from chemo is 4%. I will take whatever they want to throw at it. I have asked to do optima but they said no to onco as my lymph nodes are positive and I’m under 50. To be honest,if you’d asked me 6 months ago when this all started for me, I’d have said no to chemo, but now as the months drag on and the surgeries keep on coming and they keep finding more and more bits of dcis, I just want the full works and to get on with my life. But I do understand your feelings. I think 4.8% is a high benefit but talk to the oncologist. They will know all the types of chemo and who they best suit. Let me know the outcome. I’m interested to know too. Good luck xxx

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When would you start EC? I would prob be a July start (need 2nd surgery to get better margins as they were “close” but not “positive”)

I’m going to ask my onco the same re only doing the EC.

She did say I could possibly miss 1-2 cycles (guessing of the pax) if I really couldn’t cope with it still making a difference for me.


Yes I was diagnosed in Feb (27th) and it seems to be shifting goal posts all the time !

Annoyingly NICE just changed their guidelines 9 May for ONCOTYPE DX to Inc 1-3 positive nodes but for 50 + and I’m 4 months shy of 50 :unamused:

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Yes apparently under 50 node positive oncotype is not reliable. Have you considered optima? At least there’s a chance to escape chemo with that. Whatever you decide, I’m sure you will make the right decision xxx

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I start on June 4th … gulp … but I’m 100% happy with my choice and plan so I’m ready to get going (after our family holiday @ half term).


Yes, you are right, mine recurred 31 years later!