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chemo or not

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frieda View Drop Down

Joined: May 01 2010
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frieda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: chemo or not
    Posted: May 01 2010 at 2:24pm
I had recurring TNBC in the same breast after lumpectomy just over 5 years ago, followed by chemo and radiation.  Had mastectomy 2 weeks ago.  Lump was 55 mm and with clear lymph.  My quandry is whether or not to have chemo again.  My oncologist has said i won't need to have radiation this time.
From the statistics I have seen, it doesn't seem worth it.  I will be seeing a second opinion but would like to know of experience from other people with TNBC.  Has anybody had the cancer spread elsewhere after similar  re-occurence or know of other cases.  And if so, how quickly.
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krisa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote krisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2010 at 6:41pm
i don't understand the hesitancy of doctors recommending chemo in a situation like yours.  you had cancer once and five years later again, that indicates "something" is going on.  my cousin's cousin had the same situation --tnbc diagnosis, lumpectomy, chemo and radiation.  then two years later the cancer was back in the same breast so she had a mastectomy and that was it.  she was so relieved not to have chemo again.  soon, she had mets to the bone, then the brain, etc.  she died on christmas eve 2009.
we are all different and it is a roll of the dice, but i would do a search on this site and others and gather information about the different chemo combinations; plus, what exactly does your medical team know about your particular type of tnbc?
keep us posted on your progress/second opinion
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dmwolf View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2010 at 8:21pm
Frieda, I would think that you should do chemo again, in case you have micrometastases elsewhere that can be cleared (or delayed for a long time) with chemo.  What kind of chemo did you have last time?  Are they sure it is a recurrence or could it be a new primary?  (Is it in the same spot?)  Maybe a second and even third opinion is called for here, to figure out what to do next.    Have you been tested for BRCA mutations? 
DX 2/08@43 stg II IDC; gr2,0 nodes. Neoadj chemo, first ACx2 (fail) then CarboTaxotereX6(better). Lump, Rads done 11/08; Clodronate. False alarm queen: PetCT lung & TM marker. NED. PBM w/recon 9/10.
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ann u View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ann u Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2010 at 9:02pm
I had a new occurance almost three years after my first bout with TNBC, (and I am BRCA1+) this time in my other breast.  It was discovered during a routine mammogram, with a needle biopsy, and was only 4mm.  I had a PET scan that was ok and then had a double mastectomy. (I am having my third PET scan next month - we are watching a small, very small spot, which she thinks is a result of the expanders irritating the old, first incision site - it has not gotten bigger, but there is still time to re-evaluate if it decides to do something)
My oncologist did not recommend chemo.  It did not show up in any lymph nodes, and she thought that chemo would be overkill.  I'm ok with that this time around.  I did not tolerate chemo well my first time.  So this time, all the surveillance that I have been doing since my first diagnosis almost 4 years ago worked and did what it should have done - find a new cancer early.
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trip2 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 02 2010 at 1:05pm
Hi Frieda and welcome to our forum.
I've very sorry to see you are going thru this again.  This disease can be so aggressive and no one really knows if it will come back or not. 
I have posted studies in the TNBC News/Resource section showing chemotherapy is the best option for TNBC and that TNBC responds sometimes better than er+.
It is your choice.  What you and your doctor decide to do.  Unfortunately we have learned thru this forum that many women come against a doc who is not that familiar with TNBC for a variety of reasons.  One being we are a minority in the bc world and from that they do not treat many of us.  So finding someone familiar with TNBC and having treated several cases could be your plus for good advice.
I have not had a recurrence but did have a new primary on the other side, 8mm, 4 1/2 yrs after first diagnosis.  Same thing, TNBC, no nodes that time but Onc suggested Taxotere x6 and even though I had already experienced chemo I wanted all that they would give me knowing what I know about TNBC.  But that is me.
I did have a bilat mx and also learned I was brca 1 positive for a mutation as are my daughters.
It would be wise for you to look into genetic counseling to see  if you can qualify for the blood test.
This website, http://www.facingourrisk.org    explains all abot these mutations, has a great forum and resources.
Many brca 1 and some brca 2 positive women have TNBC but most TNBC do not have a mutation.
Best wishes and keep us updated on your path,Heart

Edited by trip2 - May 02 2010 at 1:08pm
Stage 2 2003
Stage 1 2007
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