triple negative but ? not having chemo

im worried i have triple negative 17mm BC  grade 3,found on mammogram, i had a fine needle biopsy of lymph nodes and core biopsy to lump lymph nodes came back clear having sugery next week with sentinal node biopsy ,my consultant has said if i have a clear margin and  sential lymph nodes are clear it means they have caught it early and i wont need chemo,just radiotherapy as a mop up,but after reading up on ,TNC im worried ,anyone else on here not had chemo im not young im 60 yrs



My tumour wasn’t triple negative but I had a mastectomy and my sentinel node was clear, so I was told I didn’t need chemo or rads, I’m on tamoxifen for 5 years.

My ‘lump’ wasn’t as big as yours but they were able to remove it with a clear margin and the one lymph node they took out was clear so I just had 15 sessions of radiotherapy and am taking Anastrozole for 5 years (I’m now nearly 70 and had the op last year).

Hi mad4cavs, I am almost the same as you. I was diagnosed December 2013 aged 59 with a 15mm triple negative tumour and had chemo. My oncologist showed me the Predict website (you can google it). It shows that I have about 6 per cent advantage for living longer if I had chemo and was advised to have the chemo and grabbed it with both hands.

Do make sure you make the right decision as I was told that your first chance of beating this thing is your best chance. Be your own advocate and ask to speak with an oncologist about your situation

Best wishes, Sue


I was diagnosed in Feb '13 with grade 3 trip neg ( I was 48) and was immediately offered chemo and rads but felt this was more due to the grade 3 ness than the trip neg ness! I had 6 x EC and 15 rads but later discovered I’m BRCA1 so have recently had bi mx with LD recon.

Hi I have the same. I’m 42. I’m three quaters of the way through radiotherapy and also didn’t need chemo as I have an underline heart condition. Deep breaths. All will be fine. I wish u better

Hi Mad4cavs - I agree with Sue123. Whilst the FEC-T chemo can be quite harsh I would go for the systemic treatment just to be on the safe side to mop up any stray cells that may be lurking without detection. TNBC doesn’t have as many treatment options as the hormone positive and HER2 positive breast cancers. No criticism of some comments you’ve received but if they have a hormone treatment they have years of added protection. There’s nothing like that currently for TNBC patients. Plus, grade 3 cells are fast growing but as chemo targets fast growing cells then it should clear any up.


It’s your decision and does need carefully considering so you’ve done the right thing asking for advice from people who’ve been in your shoes.


I wish you all the best.


Hi , i had triple negative and grade 3. I had a lumpectomy in may and am going through chemo now and then will finish of with 15 rads. It was a huge decision as i had said from day 1, am not having chemo. But as time went on i had to do what i could live with and my daughter (age24) said as simple as this. “Mum , how can you even think about not having chemo? If it was 1 of us kids,  or me dad, you would make us do it, so why are you different, you need to give yourself and us the best possible chance of getting rid once and for all” and she was right !!!  decision made !!!

Hi amberstone - I’m sorry if what I said has caused you concern. No need to apologise for voicing your feelings, that’s the purpose of the Forum, to be able to share your feelings and experiences with people who understand.


With TN we don’t have the targeted therapies to follow primary treatment, unlike with ER+, PR+ and HER2+ cancers. Clear lymph nodes and margins is good news though. Your onc will have weighed up the odds of what is the bigger risk to your health. It would be very disappointing if your heart was damaged by chemo for a slim risk of there being stray cells. The rads should have mopped up any stray cells in the local area, and with no cancer in your lymph nodes it suggests it hasn’t been on the move, and hence your onc’s decision. I understand your worries - after all, it’s not that long since this all happened to you. In time the cancer will take up less of your thoughts. In the meantime, your team will give you regular check-ups to ensure that things are all ok.


Wishing you a happy and healthy 2016.


I’ve had a double mascetomy last week, a grade 3 15mm tumor was found and is triple negative.
I have been given an appointment to see the oncologist next week and I’m worried I’ll need chemo.
Has anyone experienced a similar thing? If so what what your treatment plan?

Hi Catherine - sorry, I’ve only just seen your post. I tried to PM you but it won’t let me.


I don’t know if you PM me if it will then let me reply - worth a try?


Hello everyone.


I’m new to this site, really gr8 to be able to talk to people going through this nightmare.


I was diogniosed with TNBC grade 3 clear margins and no node involvement on 10th May. Im having real trouble with deciding on chemo for what they call ‘mop up’. Happy to have radiotherphy to treat the breast area where the cancer was but really don’t want to go through chemo for a just in case.


Please share your stories?





Hi carol,
I was triple meg too with a 34mm lump plus 1 sentinel node had cancer.
I wasn’t given a choice, I was told I was having chemo!
However I would have gone through everything they recommended, I wanted to chuck everything at this vile disease.
Chemo is certainly not a walk in the park and at times I felt pretty awful but it’s just a few months out your life. The way I see it, it’s short term pain for long term gain.
Im 5 years clear this year & the days of chemo are just a nasty memory.
Best of luck in whatever you decide x

Its been just over a year since diagnosis tnbc with node involvement had the wle chemo rads yeah it’s tough but if had to would do it again TN has no other protection other than the treatment no hormone blockers to help protect us or targeted therapy like herceptin its an aggressive cancer so for me it was a no brainer the thought that any stray cells msy have got away was enough to convince me that chemo was the right thing although i wasn’t given a choice, most tns are given chemo as there isn’t a drug for us afterwards i see the diagnosis treatment recovery etc as a year i lost to be able to still be here i feel great now and really grateful that i was able to kick cancers butt

Hi, I was diagnosed with TNBC Grade 2 in June 2018, aged 66. I received surgery in July, lumpectomy together with sentinel lymph node biopsy. Results showed that of the five lymph nodes removed, cancer cells found in one. Stage 2. My surgeon was on holiday for my follow up appointment after surgery and either radiotherapy or axillary clearence were discussed. 

However, at my next appointment with my surgeon, he said as I was TNBC, chemo was my next step and a meeting was arranged for me to discuss same with a medical oncologist whom I meet this week. This is where I become really lost and confused. I believed we had chemo to ensure there were no stray cancer cells about, a mop up and reduce the chance of a reoccurrence. The Oncologist had carried out the PREDICT on line decision making tool and said receiving chemo would only benefit me by 3 - 5 %, in other words, out of a hundred women, less than 5 would benefit from receiving chemo. He said that my surgeon have removed my cancer and that there was no guarantee that the cancer wouldn’t return at a later date with or without chemo. I have to weigh the potential harm as well the benefits of chemo, I don’t feel qualified or experienced to make this decision, it is like tossing a coin, heads chemo, tails, no. Who could I talk to who would be able to advise me in my decision making.

Robin hi i was TN stage 2c grade 3 and node involvement before i knew about the node involvement i was told chemo anyway due to the fact that there is no aduvant treatment after active treatment i know i wouldn’t be forced to have it if i didn’t want to but for me i wanted to throw everything at it i feel for you being told to decide yourself maybe ask your team to explain things in more detail about benefits etc of not having /having chemo xx

Dear Robin.Reid,
do you mind my asking how old you are and what you decided re chemo?

Hi there

i have been diagnosed with a 30mm tumour that is high grade DCIS that is triple negative. I don’t seem to be able to find any information about this on any website other than to tell me that it is more likely to recur than other DCIS. Is anyone else on her in the same position? Does anybody know where I can find out more information? Thanks in advance. 

Wish i could help more but i had an invasive TN as well as TN DCIS so i had surgery chemo rads they never really spoke about the DCIS to me just that it was removed along with invasive and the treatment i would definitely speak to your team about your concerns about it recurring and they should discuss in more detail risk etc i agree TN DCIS is always graded high but if you had nio invasive the treatment plan could be very different for you best of luck and i hope your treatment goes well and try nit to worry its difficult at time of diagnosis you worry but your bc team will have the right plan in place for you x i had my treatment in 2017/18 was finished completely in feb this year x