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Should I do Chemotherapy?

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I was diagnosed with stage 1A estrogen positive, HER2 negative breast cancer. The lump was small and was removed with clear margins and clear lymph nodes. I am planning to do estrogen therapy and radiation. Now they want me to do chemotherapy based on my Oncotype DX score which is 32. I had genetic testing which showed no cancer markers. The chemo they are suggesting is docetaxel + cyclophosphamide for 3 months - 4 infusions. The MD told me that it actually only works in 12/100 people which is not very compelling. In my research, I found that the Oncotype DX testing has many issues. With the recurrence score of 32, I am on the border between medium and high risk. I am not sure if I should do it or not and would love to hear other people's experience.

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  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,185
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    Hi @klyking, and welcome to Breastcancer.org.

    We're so very sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but we're so glad you've found us and decided to post. You're sure to find our amazing community a wonderful source of advice, information, encouragement, and support — we're all here for you!

    We're sure others will be by soon to weigh in with their experiences, but we wanted to welcome you in the meantime. Please don't hesitate to reach out if there's anything we can help with!

    —The Mods

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 410
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    I was a 23 and did chemo. I wanted to hit it with everything they had so I had no regrets if it came back. Chemo was tough but doable. I completely recovered.

  • klyking
    klyking Member Posts: 13
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    kaynotrealname - What stage did you have? Was it in your lymph nodes?

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 410
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    Prognostic staging system was 1B. It was not in my lymph nodes nor did I have LVI. However, breast cancer is a tricky little shit. They know now that it can spread rogue cells through the bloodstream bypassing the nodes very early even before there are any symptoms. The higher your oncoscore the more likely this was to have happened. Now it's not a very efficient way to spread and usually is unsuccessful (thank goodness) but this is why they believe even people in very early stages with no sign of spread can end up relapsing with a stage 4 diagnosis years later. So no chemo isn't a surefire way to kill these kind of cells but if your score says it would be beneficial than statistically speaking it is. And with a score of 32 the benefits of chemo would undoubtedly outweigh the risks. Still up to you though and how comfortable you are with either scenario. For me I had a grade 3 tumor so I knew I had a good chance to respond so I didn't give chemo a second thought.

  • klyking
    klyking Member Posts: 13
    edited May 23
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    @kaynotrealname - How long ago did you have chemo?

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 410
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    I finished October 2022. Took me about eight weeks to recover to 99% (balance was off a bit for six months) but I started feeling significantly better about four weeks after my last treatment. I was feeling fine until about a week before my fourth treatment so all in all I had about a month of feeling like dog crap. But even that was bearable because I was just easily fatigued. No nausea or anything.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,178
    edited May 23
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    there aren’t any guarantees whether you do it or not I hit it with four rounds of AC and one round of tax tear and I was clean for seven years then I found a lump on the other side surgery and radiation for that and an oral chemo pill until my number started climbing again, so yeah, I hit it with everything I got and hope for the best