Recent ER+/PR+ HER2+ TX questions.
I was recently diagnosed with ER+/PR+ HER2+ invasive ductal carcinoma following the discovery of a lump in my breast. I had a lumpectomy where they were able to remove all of the tumor with good margins. During surgery they collected 20 lymphnodes and sent them to pathology, only one of which was cancerous.
I just saw the oncologist who suggested 1 year of chemotherapy + radiation and “no additional scans needed” as he had confidence it hasn’t spread to any other part of my body.
I feel like I should seek a second opinion and possibly look into immunotherapy, hormone blocking therapy, or only the targeted medication by itself and not in conjunction with the actual chemotherapy drug. The TX recommendation seems kind of generalized or like a “one size fits all” approach where a few minutes on this site has led me to find a multitude of different treatments that exist that seem just as beneficial and less toxic to all body systems as chemo.
Theoretically, i feel like my body is cancer free right now, with the nodes and tumor being removed completely, and the “confidence it hasn’t spread to other areas” my doctor seems to have. It makes me feel like I’m signing up to needlessly wreck my body and immune system with chemotherapy for potentially no benefit if there’s truly no cancer anywhere else; however, a PETscan would be the only way to confirm if there was or wasn’t any residual cancer cells hanging around somewhere. So why wouldn’t he suggest getting one before jumping into another surgery (for the port) and chemotherapy? Especially if the breast cancer has already metastasized to my lymphnodes, what makes him feel that it’s safe to assume it hasn’t made its way into another area if a PETscan isn’t “necessary” ?
So much information to process and I am no doctor, but I hope my questions and concerns make sense to some of you.
I am located in Iowa and also welcome any suggestions for oncologists to seek a second opinion from!
Thank you for taking the time to read.