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Apr 12, 2016 06:40AM
Hi, Simon. First, I must respectfully disagree with the above post by Lottemarine. To me it is not obvious that her body was imbalanced, or that lifestyle factors such as exercise and stress can account for your wife's cancer. Yes, lifestyle factors may contribute to risk and we want to do what we can, but there are many other factors that are as yet not understood, and also those that are out of our control. For example, there are random genetic mistakes in cells, inherited genetic predispositions, environmental factors we can't alter. Please don't blame the victim.
To answer your question, yes, any systemic therapy such as chemo or hormonal therapy would be for the future, to go after any possible rogue cancer cells anywhere in the body that might hang around and cause trouble later. The question they are trying to figure out is about the risk vs. benefit. Right now from what you have said, things sound good, and I suspect the doctors' biggest concerns are her age, and the fact that there is no Oncotype score to guide them. As far as breast radiation, it is standard with lumpectomy except in certain low-risk cases. It is done to prevent a local recurrence--in the breast. Although there is some evidence that it also may help prevent distant recurrence by zapping some of the lymph nodes, in case there are undetected cancer cells there. Has radiation been recommended to your wife?
Here is what I suggest:
1. Since your wife is so young and her doctors are debating, get a second opinion from a NCCN Cancer Center.
2. Ask if genetic testing would be appropriate. It can affect treatment decisions.
3. If you want to do some research to get more background, look at the results of the SOFT trial. It was about what kind of hormonal therapy to use for premenopausal women.
Simon, I'm sorry you and your wife are going through this. Just the fact that you are at her side holding her hand is huge, and will help her so much.
2011 Stage I ILC 1.5cm grade1 ITCs sn Lumpectomy,radiation,tamoxifen. 2014 Stage IV ILC mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD