I was diagnosed with grade 2, stage 2 invasive, ER+ to my right breast. I had a lumpectomy and three lymph nodes taken, all clear. I decided to have 4 cycles of EC, but refused the 4 cycles of Paclitaxol due to the risk of side effects, I also refused the suppression therapy even though my oncoptic test came back 36 high risk. I'm now having 20 lots of radiotherapy over 4 weeks, the last week being a booster.
I did a lot of research before I decided to make these decisions and I made it quite clear to my oncologist about that. I'm a great believer in quality of life and as I'm at high risk of the cancer returning somewhere in my body, I wanted to have the full facts in front of me.
So far I've had 7 rads, drink loads all day and moisturise twice a day. I gave up wearing bras years ago, only do so for special events etc. I'm wearing lose t shirts and I have very sensitive skin although quite dark, so far I've not had one problem with the rads.
Don't make any decisions on emotions, do your research and get the facts of how declining treatment will affect you, then sit down and talk it out with a good friend or who is ever closes to you. I even had a chat with my gp about my decisions, they pick up the pieces when the oncologist is finished with you.
It's your body, your life and you have to decide, no one can make the decision for you. I opted for quality rather than quantity, when the cancer comes back, I will deal with it then, but for now I am enjoying doing the things I love, like dancing, walking, gardening and normal life. Once I've finished radiotherapy, I know I will be able to carry on. Your choice, not the oncologist or anyone else and that's the most important thing. Good luck, hope this help.
By the way, you are not a wimp, this is the hardest decision you will ever have to make and not any easy one, no one envys us making these decisions.
I know exactly how you feel and have been staring at my first box of Arimidex for 3 weeks now. Fortunately nobody here has expected me to do two treatments at once!
On the other hand, I was thinking of refusing radiotherapy but decided to do it based of not wanting to turn more than one treatment down and I had no side effects whatsoever, not even pink. I'm also someone who burns very easily so that really doesn't follow.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
Hello Nikkit - you sound exhausted - I'm guessing that if you were diagnosed last July and are just looking at starting radiotherapy that you have had a bumpy journey so far ? the simple answer is yes you can chose not to have any further treatment - but obviously it's not a decision to be made lightly .On the hormone therapy front I chose not to start until after my radiotherapy so I could just deal with one thing at a time .With hormone therapy there are different options if letrozole doesn't agree with you and you can stop at anytime if you really struggle with it - not everyone has side effects that impact on their quality of life - I found Tamoxifen manageable .With radiotherapy there is a window within which you will need to have treatment - when I looked into it the benefit in terms of preventing a re-occurrence it was pretty significant for most people - was radiotherapy factored into your 4% ? I found radiotherapy boring and tiring ,my boob went pink and sore but it healed pretty quickly afterwards - I felt it was worth 3/4 weeks of discomfort for the potential gain .It may be worth ringing the helpline here to talk this through and also getting exact figures of your potential benefits from your Breast Care team to help you with your decision .Let is know how you get on .Jill .
I was diagnosed last July . Many hiccups later im finally about to start on hormone treatment and radiotherapy. But I don't want to.
I'm so tired of all this cancer c**p. I just want to go back to normal.
I don't want to go through the menopause again . I got through originally pretty unscathed.
I don't want radiation burns. I get burnt being outside wearing factor 50 on a normal summer day.
If I put my details into the predict tool its only a 4% difference if I don't have any further treatment . Is it really worth the hassle ?
I feel a wimp . I didn't need chemo so surely I should just put up with it? I've had my prescription for letrozole for two weeks now and havent collected it yet. Still not convinced why I should take them.
Given the side effects.
Oh I don't know what to do or who to talk to.