I Have An 8mm Early Diagnosed Breast Cancer Do I Really Need Arimidex Or Radiation After Lumpectomy?

Question

Asked by Bobble

I Have An 8mm Early Diagnosed Breast Cancer Do I Really Need Arimidex Or Radiation After Lumpectomy?

I have just been diagnosed with an 8mm breast cancer borderline grade 1 - 2 found by routine mammography. I am having a lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node removal. The tumour is receptive to eostrogen. How much would I need to have either radiation therapy or take arimidex as I am not keen on the side effects of either and feel that this would jeopardise my quality of life - I'd rather have 10 years of good life than 20 with side effects making me unable to function. I'm 56.

Answer

Bobbie, you don't say if your cancer is DCIS (non-invasive) or IDC (invasive); that might make a difference in your thinking. The standard of care for either, when you have a lumpecotmy, is radiation, then hormone therapy (Arimidex, or equivalent). Not going that route will raise your risk of recurrence - how much, your oncologist could tell you. If the raised risk is acceptable to YOU, then stop treatment after the lumpectomy - it's your body, your life, and you absolutely have the right to do what you want.

I'd gently suggest, though, that you also take into consideration the fact you might not have difficult side effects from either radiation or an aromatase inhibitor. I sailed through radiation, personally; no side effects at all. Arimidex, minor joint pain, easily remedied with exercise or a walk first thing in the morning. So, perhaps you're visualizing the worst that can happen, and taking it as a given?

Just something to think about as you make your decision. Good luck - PJH

Answered by PJ Hamel