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Nov 20, 2017 03:31PM
Nov 20, 2017 03:33PM
My OncotypeDX was 24, and my chance of recurrence with 5 years of tamoxifen was 16%. That sounded pretty high to me. Chemo reduced the chance to 6-10% according to the onco. My breast surgeon had told me if anyone wanted me to do chemo to call him before I did it. He got me an appointment for a second opinion. That oncologist said with my size tumor, he wouldn't have done an OncotypeDx, but since I had one, and the score was 24, if it was his wife he would recommend chemo.
My pre-surgery biopsy was invasive ducal carcinoma, but my post-surgical labs were invasive lobular carcinoma, with ductal features. I know that lobular isn't supposed to respond as well to chemo as ductal, but all of the docs had been expecting a low OncotypeDx score, and the 24 kind of freaked me out.
I don't have any huge health issues other than a hiatal hernia and being overweight, and the 2nd opinion oncologist said he didn't think I'd have any trouble with his recommendation of 4 treatments of Taxotere and Cytoxin every three weeks, and he was right. That's not to say I don't think I was incredibly lucky, but not everyone has an awful time. Because I never throw up, not once in the last 45 years, that's what I was most concerned about, but I wasn't nauseated at all. I had some of the symptoms, weird tastes the week after chemo, hair loss, swelling in my legs and feet after the third treatment, a persistent cough that took FOREVER to go away, but all relatively minor. Because Taxotere can cause permanent hair loss, that was my biggest worry, but I'm 17 weeks post final chemo, and my hair is coming in pretty fast, and I think by Christmas I'll be able to ditch the wig.
You obviously have some more serious health issues than I do, so I do think you have to consider the chemo side effects, but talk to all of your doctors, and get a second opinion from another oncologist if you think it would put your fears at rest.
Good luck with your decision
I meant to say I was 66 at the time of my diagnosis
OncotypeDx 24, I think because although I was 100% ER+, I was very weakly PR+ . BARD1 mutation, mother had breast cancer twice.
12/5/2016, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
3/8/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
5/19/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)