I was recently diagnosed with stage 1 DCIS in my right breast and decided to have a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using expanders. The pathology report indicates that the lymph node is negative for methastasis, but I am still waiting on the results for submicromethastasis. My oncologist said I won't be needing chemotherapy or radiation, but that I will most probably have to take hormone therapy. However, if I have no breast tissue left, what would be the point of taking hormone therapy? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Your oncologist is right with the treatment plan. Tamoxifen is known to cause increased disease free survival in patients with breast cancer after they have under gone mastectomy. It is also known to decrease the incidence of breast cancer in high risk group patients.
You need to discuss all your doubts with your oncologist before you start the medication. Also ask him about the possible side effects that you might be having related to the medication.
Hope this helps.
Thank you so much for your response. I did ask him about possible side effects, but he's not in favor of discussing side effects, because he says that every person is different and he can't know for sure how each person is going to respond. I guess that my biggest question is that if I do not have breast tissue left, is it possible for me to get cancer somewhere else if I don't take the Tamoxifen? Th4e sentinel lymh node came back negative for cancer, so I just want to be sure that I'm making the right decision about this treament. Thanks again.
Yes, that is the whole point of using tamoxifen in post mastectomy patients, in some cases even after radiation therapy. Tamoxifen has been documented to increase the disease free survival in post surgical patients with breast cancer.
The incidence of metastasis is reduced significantly and so is the spread or recurrence risk. All this must have been already explained to you by your oncologist.
Discuss every step in detail with your oncologist, he will suggest the best amongst all the options available for you. Once you are convinced, you will not have any doubt about your decision and treatment plan.
Hope this helps.
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