Monday, September 22, 2014
Just Diagnosed with Cancer? Chat with Experts

Sunday, May 03, 2009 Aloma thomas, Community Member, asks

Q: how many cycles of fec chemo is required for stage 1 grade 3 triple -'ve breast cancer?

 no signs of breast lumps or pain.routine mammogram & follow up tests revealed  15ml malignant tissue which was only screen based detectable. immediately removed by surgery followed up by a 2nd surgery in  4 weeks precancer cells found in the surgical margin removed. cancer graded as 3, type : triple negative, stage 1 not spread to the lymph glands - sentinel node biopsy performed .doctor's recommended chemo. 6 cycles of FEC Chemotherapy. My mum has taken the 1st dose - feeling quite unwell. Not sure if she should go ahead with the next cycles due to high risks & side effects.

Answer This
Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
5/ 3/09 6:45am

Hi Aloma - The issue with triple negative breast cancer is there's really no treatment other than chemo - hormone therapy isn't possible. So the docs really like to give it their best shot at knocking it all out completely with chemo. I think if one dose out of six were enough - for anyone - then that's all anyone would get. But since six is the recommendation, six is what you need for coverage. Please ask your mum to tell the doctor how she's feeling; there are many, many good treatments for side effects these days. There's no need to suffer in silence, nor to expect chemo to be miserable. It IS a challenge, for sure; but side effects can be treated. Good luck to her, and you - PJH

Reply
Aloma thomas, Community Member
5/ 5/09 3:44am

Hi Miss Hamel: Thanks for promptreply.am aware that hormone therapy not viable option due to type of cancer.keeping in touch with mum's oncologist - awaiting for some more advice from him -answers to questions & wanting to seek 2nd opinion . However, in light of what we were advised ie. though 6 cycles of FEC recommended, mum was told by that if she feels her body cant take the chemo by 3rd or 4th dose, they would stop it as 3 to 4 doses better than none at all. also have read that epirubicin interacts with cardezem one of the tablets mum takes that doctors knew about and this drug increases risk of secondary cancer ie leukemia.  Mum feels she does not want to take another dose - not so much of her feeling so ill, but as risks outweigh benefits in terms of damage to her otherwise healthy body.  doctors said 80% she's ok -chemo recommended as an insurance policy only- which does not guarantee stopping a recurrence but increases risks/damage  to all her other organs. at 68, she feels she has tried 1 dose and will regularly check herself up & face chemo if she has to down the track than destroy quality of life between now & then. would like to get your advice how to move forward. thanks again aloma

Reply
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
5/ 5/09 8:23am

Aloma, your mum sounds like a very sensible woman who's made her decision—the decision that's right for her; not sure what other advice I could give you. She certainly knows her body, her other health issues, and has clearly weighed the benefit/harm of chemo. I think she should do exactly what she feels is right! Good luck to both of you - PJH

Reply
Answer This

Important:
We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Aloma thomas, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/27/10, First Published: 05/03/09