Aug 8, 2021 08:34AM MountainMia wrote:
abiecat, I'm sorry you're faced with this decision. I can understand why it can seem like neither choice is a clear winner.
I don't know your definition of "older." :) I was 58 when I was diagnosed in 2019, stage 1 tnbc, grade 3, lymph nodes and margins clear with a lumpectomy, great health aside from the cancer. Surprisingly, my medical oncologist (MO) did not push chemo hard for me, but given my age and tnbc, I was sure I wanted to do it.
I had 4 rounds dose dense (every 2 weeks) of adriamycin and cytoxan. The taxanes have a higher chance of causing neuropathy. I reacted to Taxotere so couldn't use it or taxol. Taxol often is used in combination with AC, making the ACT or AC+T combination you see in people's signature lines. Anyway, I couldn't use it, so only did the AC part of the regimen.
The side effects were manageable and I'm glad I went ahead with that much of the program. Again, especially at my age, I'm glad I had the systemic (whole body) treatment to prevent recurrence.
There is a great tool called Predict, which calculates risk of death from recurrence or other causes, given your age and cancer characteristics. You might take a look at it. For me, it predicted a pretty small improvement in life expectancy, which I'm sure is why my MO was wishy-washy on the idea. However, I decided I wanted to be on the side of living longer. NOTE this is probabilities over a population of people with your characteristics, of course, not predictive to you in particular, and not of course any guarantee! But it might give you more information to think about.
Good luck. Whichever you choose, people here will support you and help you with the process.