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Jan 23, 2021 03:04PM
Jan 23, 2021 06:21PM
I'mfollowing up on beesie's post . If your mother has stage III this puts her in a different position than earlier stages so comparing her situation to what those at stageI or II is not of much value. With respect to surgery, it used be be common to have surgery and then whatever treatments were recommended. In recent years it has become more common to do chemo first, to shrink the tumor, then surgery. Both approaches are still used and I imagine that each case is evaluated by an oncologist to determine which would benefit the patient most. Chemo can be IV or, in some cases, oral. Hormonal treatments, Tamoxifen (usually used in premenopausal women) and all three aromatase inhibitors (Arimidex, Aromasin, Femara) are mainly used by post menopausal women. None of these drugs are considered chemo.
As others have said, natural or alternative treatments are out there and you will find plenty of websites and online groups supporting them. However, little science based evidence exists to support their efficacy. You will find lots of anecdotes and testimonials but that does not equal evidence. I am not saying that these alternatives are useless but rather that there is a lack of evidence to show they are useful.
I have no great advice for you and your family but working with psychiatric support may help. There are even psychiatrists who specialize in working with cancer patients. Stage III is serious and needs treatment. Surgery alone is generally not the recommended path at this stage, but it seems as if her anxieties and psychiatric issues need to be addressed first if you hope to have her be a willing participant in treatment. As beesie noted, it's not cancer confined to the breast that will kill you but rather metastasis to other parts of the body and that is what systemic treatments are trying to control. I wish you all the best.
** I want to add that nothing is a “must". Doctors make treatment recommendations based on what they think will benefit the patient most, but patients are always the ultimate decision maker.
Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur
7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole)
6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole)