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May 19, 2009 12:35PM
Decisions about chemo are getting more complicated, but, right now, not everyone who has IDC gets chemo. The American Cancer Society Standards calls for chemo for all tumors larger than 1 cm, but many oncs feel that these standards are a little out of date, particularly for low-grade tumors (which is what grade 1 is).
Docs look at a combination of your age, the size of the tumor, the status of your nodes, whether or not you are hormone positive, whether or not your tumor is HER +, etc. Here is a link to the information pages from bc.org that will give you an overview of this:
The most recent technology is the oncotype test, which is likely to be what your first oncologist wants to do - it tests the activity of the tumor cells.
I am post-menopausal, my tumor was very low grade, had wide margins, no nodes and I was very ER/PR positive. My oncologist recommended against chemo without doing an oncotype test - said that the chem was more dangerous than the cancer. Got a second opinion, and was told the same thing. But they both recommended hormone therapy.
Personally, I would feel more comfortable with the first oncologist you spoke with, but you may wish to get a 3rd opinion, since you got two different recommendations.
Good luck. You are going through the toughest part of this whole process,
Sue - Proud to be Krista's Mom
12/28/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-