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Mar 9, 2019 08:58AM
Mar 9, 2019 08:59AM
The statistics for breast cancer show that there are actually a lot of women with early stage cancer who never recur after being treated with surgery. More for stage 1, fewer for stage 3, but either way, plenty of women.
That means that a lot of us could refuse adjuvant therapy, not change our diet or exercise one tiny bit, and be fine and never deal with cancer again.
It is definitely statistically plausible - and maybe even probable - that every single successful 'natural treatment' story is actually just a lucky person story. They would have been fine no matter what. Then maybe there are small subset of them that would have recurred without the alternative treatments, but the risk reduction from weight loss or diet protected them.
We don't know which individuals are in which basket, and we don't even know statistically how many of them are likely to be in which basket, because we don't have the kinds of standardized testing that would let us know that.
Accepting or refusing adjuvant treatment for most of us is a real, 'do you feel lucky' kind of decision. With my stage, I had an 86% chance of cancer-free survival after 15 years, from surgery alone. That's actually really high. But I don't want to have to deal with cancer again and I don't want to die of cancer, and adjuvant therapy brings me to a 94% chance. To me, that increase was worth quite a lot of trouble and the risk profile of the adjuvant therapy. For other women, it is not. That is just fine.
I could still be unlucky and fall into that 6%. That wouldn't mean that adjuvant therapy is a sham, it would just mean that it's not a 100% guarantee (which the doctors are very up front about) and that I got unlucky. If I survive, it also doesn't necessarily mean that the adjuvant therapy was responsible for that. In fact, it's actually probable that I would have survived without it. The adjuvant therapy is giving me that *extra* 8% chance at being lucky. I'll probably never know if my survival/death was inevitable and I might as well have skipped it, or whether I was one of the 8% that it made a big difference for. Not knowing things for certain, to me, is part of this whole cancer 'ride'.
Each of us is the expert on our own life and our own body. We each deserve the opportunity to make fully informed decisions about our treatment. I trust other women to make the best choices for themselves, even if they are not the choices I would make make for me (at this time).
Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9.
9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
10/18/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
12/3/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)