Triple neg reoccurence

My friend had triple negative 17 years ago and had masectomy chemo and radio. On a planned screening they found dots of cancer and she has had them removed no masectomy just surgery to clear margins. 
Now apparently chemo is on table whereas she was told up to now not necessary. Is chemo always used second time around and on such small area


Writing as someone with MTNBC, I would guess that it’s the nature of the cancer, not the small area, that’s at issue here. Your friend has been very fortunate to have had 17 years cancer-free but triple negative cells are very resistant and very aggressive. While there is just a small site, and they hopefully have secured clear margins, chemotherapy is the best chance of hitting this hard, thus reducing the likelihood of it spreading to other parts of the body - something nobody wants.

There are many types of chemotherapy but, despite its awful reputation, it’s not always as bad as one expects. It’s definitely manageable and there are all kinds of precautions to reduce side effects. The important thing is to kill off any rogue cells now, before they find a new home. Meantime, I’d say stay off Google, both of you, and if you want to know more about TNBC, use reputable sites like this one. Most material about TN is outdated, some is downright alarmist, so it’s best avoided if you want peace of mind.

I hope your friend’s treatment goes well and she has many more years cancer-free. It really is worth the effort (though it’s not always easy).

Jan x

Hi Jaybro she’s not really concerned as feels she got 17 years at stage 3 so will get more at stage 0/1. She’s adamant she won’t de chemo again . I’m just trying to gsuge if it’s always  necessary 

Not a lot you can do when someone is adamant. I’d always be guided by the oncologist’s opinion but, trust me, she does not want this moving to Stage 4 where lifelong chemo is the only treatment and there is no cure, where you live knowing that the treatment will soon stop working and you have to start again, where your life revolves around hospital appointments and everyone around you is riddled with fear even if you aren’t. Action is needed while it is still in the treatable phase and aggressive cancers require aggressive treatments. Are you sure it’s stage 0/1 as usually TN is automatically stage 3 However, as I said, there’s not a lot you can do if someone is adamant except find out their reasons. Maybe this is a knee-jerk reaction, maybe there’s a deep-seated fear of going back 17 years. Only the oncologist can sway her towards a different decision but it has to be her decision. I hope this is easily resolved x

I’m not going to try and sway her either way as she would cut you off is you did that . I have Encouraged her to listen to what they have to say. Im fairly sure it’s dcis she’s not very medically minded but she said sprinkles and dots in her breast she was  having a masectomy  but then they trees successfully to remove it all and succeeded with lumpectomy . I asked was it dcis and she said yes as the description sounded like it to me. However can they tell its triple neg from dcis . There may be idc in there too. She said stage 1 whereas last time she was  3 and I was in several nodes . I just want to have the right words when she’s ringing after appointment that might push her. Maybe it’s so early they won’t be offering chemo she eas led to believe it would be only radiation but that was before they said triple neg again 

I was stage 3c 2 years ago. I had mastectomy, chemo & radio. If your friend is worried about chemo maybe she needs to understand that chemo has moved on lots in 17 years. My only side effects on chemo were slight nausea on the day of treatment, hair loss (it soon grew back), some fatigue in the first week, constipation ( managed with diet). Quite a few people actually work whilst on chemo. 

I was terrified about chemo but was really surprised how much it was doable. 

Also I felt I needed to be in control and struggled with medics etc telling me what I had to have etc. Maybe your friend feels like this and feels the need to take control. My advice would be to get her to gather all the info on chemo before making a decision. Maybe visit a chemo unit and chat to people there. There were ladies in my unit who were having treatment for the 2nd time and everyone one of them agreed it was easier 2nd time around as medicine/processes have improved with time. 

It also sounds like she hasn’t got all the facts yet on her diagnosis  I get this as it’s so overwhelming in those first few days. However once you know what you are dealing with maybe the decision will be easier. 

I wish you both well whatever the decision.

Imp x

I had early stage TNBC diagnosed in February 2022. It was small, handled via a wide area excision, and my lymph nodes were clear. The pathology report from surgery did however show that the tumour had infiltrated a blood vessel. I was somewhat reluctant to have chemo, mainly because in my case the statistics suggested it wouldn’t make a huge difference to outcomes and there was a reasonably high likelihood of recurrence either way. The vascular invasion tipped me over into having chemo.

As it turned out, I already had a secondary deposit in my liver, I just didn’t know it. It was chemo that led me to finding out, as I got a very bad case of constipation that led to infected diverticulitis, a hospital stay, and a CT scan. It would appear the chemo hadn’t completely worked for me, but it did lead to that discovery. After an unsuccessful ablation, I am back round trying yet more chemo, this time with immunotherapy. 

I am not sure what to learn from this other than it can go either way whatever one does. Hoping your friend finds her way through this.