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Mar 14, 2018 12:46AM
Hi Roots, I also live in Ontario (Ottawa), and I was diagnosed last November at the age of 33. I did hear the general consensus is that women under 40 OFTEN have chemo recommended, but not always. They CAN have more aggressive cancers (don't fret, they are still treatable, mine was aggressive at grade 3 and lymph node was clear As Valentina points out, they aren't always more aggressive in younger women). Also, sometimes they are more aggressive with younger women since we have a lot more life left in us. However, every case and treatment plan is different. I had a 2cm tumor, and it was in the perfect spot for lumpectomy. I oped for a unilateral nipple sparing mastectomy with reconstruction. I currently have the tissue expander in place, and so far I don't regret that choice. I am actually going to see about getting the other breast removed too. Smaller, hormone positive cancers, lower grade, are less likely to need chemo.
Do you have the pathology of your tumor yet? As you mention, there are so many more tests to do, that I think the comment they made to you about likely needing chemo is preemptive. The cancer I had was very high ER & PR positive, and I could have opted just for hormone therapies and radiation, however I decided to do chemo and the hormone therapies (no rads). My oncologist put more weight on the hormone therapy in my case then the chemo, but every case is different. Some people only needs rads and hormone therapies, etc. There can be many options.
I start chemo next week. I actually just made the final decision today to do chemo, I found that a hard choice. I don't have kids yet, and freezing my eggs failed. I am taking a chance loosing my fertility, among other side effects, but I weighed the risks and begrudgingly decided to do it. I'll take a few months of pain for long term gain. Try and take it one step at a time, since until they have the full picture, they can't really guide you on the next steps. The waiting part is hard, but it will get easier.
Diagnosed at 33 after finding my lump myself. Had to stop chemo after round 3 due to repeatedly ending up febrile neutropenic and developing neuropathy. Now on to ABCSG12 treatment (hormone therapy and Zometa).
11/15/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
1/31/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement
4/3/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin)
8/31/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement