Stage 1 Triple Negative--refuse Chemo?

Question

Asked by bettyboopdcp

Stage 1 Triple Negative--refuse Chemo?

I had a stage 1 grade 3 triple negative1.26cm tumor removed 3 weeks ago. Onc wants me to do Chemo because of the trple neg grade 3 status. I have one close margin and am to get radiation boost to compensate for that. My surgeon and radiation onc agree this will be fine. But if I do chemo and that will delay radiation by 6 mos. I want to just do the radiation. I am more afraid of chemo than anything and fell my most vulnerable point is that close margin. Any adivce?

Answer

My feeling is that you're putting yourself at risk refusing chemo. I'd feel less strongly about this if you weren't triple negative, but with your type of cancer, not being able to rely on long-term hormone therapy for protection, it's now or never - you have to get that cancer NOW, because there's no staving it off later, if it's managed to spread at all.

If it's because you're afraid of chemo, you may be reacting to stories you've heard from people who experienced it long ago, when it really was a nightmare. The chemo itself, as well as treatment for its side effects, is so much better now than it was in the past. Yes, you lose your hair; but it grows back. Yes, it's a long slog - fatiguing, with unpleasant side effects - but those can be treated. The standard of care for triple negative breast cancer is chemo, and i'd hate to see you deviate from that, out of fear...

Tough decision, I know, and you need to make it yourself. It's YOUR body, and you'll live with it the rest of your life. But that's my opinion. Good luck - PJH

Answered by PJ Hamel