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Thursday, October 08, 2009 AA, Community Member, asks

Q: can i only have four cycles of fac chemotherapy instead of 6 cycles?

3.2 cm tumor, lymph nodes negative, vascular invasion present. er pr positive.

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Answers (1)
Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
10/ 8/09 6:08am

The doctor chose six cycles as the best possible dosage based on studies that looked at the amount of chemo that produced the best results with the fewest side effects.  If you want to stop because of side effects, talk to the doctor about what can be done to reduce the problems you are having.  Whether you receive medical treatment is always up to you.  You have the right to refuse further treatment.  However, you've already gone through so much, so why not get the dosage that has the best proven results?

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AA, Community Member
10/ 8/09 6:16am

I worry about the side effects especially to my heart considering i'd have radiation after the chemo since i had lumpectomy in my left breast. at the same time i contracted hepa b. I worry about the toxicity of the chemo drugs to my liver. Aren't 4 cycles not enough? Being er pr positive can i just take tamoxifen and reduce my risk of recurrence?

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
10/ 8/09 6:22am

Your doctor is the best person to help you sort out the risks and benefits in your personal situation.  He or she probably can give you actual statistics about recurrence in women who have the full dose of chemo versus those who have less.  He can also tell you what percentage of women develop heart problems from the chemo itself.  Of course, statistics cannot predict what will happen to you, but they can help you make an informed decision.

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By AA, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/19/10, First Published: 10/08/09