No need for chemo?

Hi, I was diagnosed with bc in September- I am 46- and have had a lumpectomy. Grade 2 tumour, stage 2a, 23mm. No nodes affected and no vascular invasion. I have been recommended radiotherapy and tamoxifen but not chemotherapy as my consultant believes it will only potentially offer 1/2% benefit. Does this seem correct?

Hi Rose,I was 44 on diagnosis,grade 2 15mm ,no node involvement,bit similar to your results. I was told that I was borderline for chemo, they weren’t telling me to have it but I could if I really wanted ! If I had been grade 3 or nodes involved or had been given a higher% of survival then I would have gone for it but as I’m 8/8 ER and PR and my stats were already in the mid 90’s for survival over 10 yrs I decided the risks would outweigh the benefits. I also felt that if they really wanted me to have it they would have recommended it and not given me any choice in the matter.
I was also given the choice whether to have mastectomy or WLE, 2 many choices !(had the WLE) Am happy with my decisions and that is what I live with,it is a very personal thing though. Good luck.

Sandra x

Hi Rose,
I was diagnosed at the end of July and had WLE 21st Aug. My results were 11mm tumour with 2mm DCIS, Grade 2, Stage 1, no nodes and no vascular invasion. ER+ and HER2-. So quite similar to yours. My age is 43.

I was told I did not need chemo with these results and like Sandra my percentage survival over 10 years was 96% or something, even without radiotherapy and Tamoxifen.
Like you I was told chemo would only make a 1-2% difference. Also like you, I was worried. I asked 2 different BCNs, my GP, surgeon and onc if they were sure, and kept saying I would “gladly”(!) have chemo if they thought it was necessary. All of them reassured me that the decision is made at a meeting with all relevant team members present. They all have to agree on your treatment plan and that if chemo was needed they would be encouraging/telling me to have it.

Hope that reassures you a bit. I know how worrying it is, especially when you hear of people with similar results and of a similar age who ARE having chemo.

Having a chat to your medical team members about it like I did might help reassure you about their decision .

Good luck with your treatments

Anna xx

Hi Rose, I was the same as Sandra and Anna, who I must seen have been wonderful through this journey with me, grade 2 15mm, hormone positive, when the consultant said no chemo necessary, I was well pleased and accepted his decision.

take care

Carol xx


Same for me, too. My onc said the risks of chemo outweighed the benefits in my case.

Good luck!

Ann x

When comparing seemingly “identical” results you also have to take into account that the tumours might have been in very different places in the breast… one might have been very central surrounded by lots of breast tissue and the surgeon is confident that very clear margins were made… someone elses might have been much closer to muscle tissue etc so they have decided chemo is needed as an extra backup…


Thanks ladies for all your comments- they really help. You just have so much information to absorb in a short space of time it makes your start to question everything. My onc and surgeon both said the same thing- so I need to learn to trust the professionals.

Hi Rose. I was diagnosed with BC in April this year - 25mm ducto-lobular invasive, Grade 2, stage 2, no node or vascular involvement, ER+ (HER-). I had a WLE, 20 sessions of radiotherapy and have been on Tamoxifen since April. My surgeon was of the opinion I didnt need chemo, as the risks outweighed the ‘potential’ benefits. But then a week later my oncologist said that because of the tumour size, and my age they’d like to ‘recommend’ chemo to me. They said I could possibly gain an extra 5% benefit from it. Naturally, I was confused and worried that I was left to make the decision. So it went back to the multi-discipline team who decided to go with the surgeon’s original decision. So no chemo for me. It has been playing on my mind ever since but I saw the onco last week and they were happy with the treatment so far and they discharged me. I’m now back under the surgeon’s care, and have to be reassured that IF they thought I really did need chemo then they would have told me so.

I was 41 years old when diagnosed and it was a total shock, as I thought it was rare for women of our age. Now I’ve found this forum I can see that I am not alone and am able to share my experiences with others in a similar situation, which has helped enormously.