The option of chemo and/or radiotherapy is based on the pathology results of the tumour. Your Mum should ask for a copy of the pathology report, as this will define her individual parameters. It may seem at first like a foreign langugage, but once you have it, you can come back here for us to interpret.
If the tumour was over 1 cm, my breast care centre of excellence always recommends chemo and radiotherapy. Similarly, if the cancer has already spread to the axilla (armpit), this shows the cancer is on the move and chemoo will be advised. As an example, I had a 2 cm invasive ductal tumour with associated DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) and 4/18 lymph nodes positive for bc. I too wondered why I needed both chemo and radiotherapy. My Oncologist explained that as the cancer had already spread to the lymph nodes, microscopic cancer cells may have spread to other organs i.e. lungs,bones,liver or spine and the chemo is to kill these cells. Radiotherapy is to zap any remaining cancer cells in the breast and axilla. If there is no spread from the breast, then radiotherapy alone is usually advised.
Your Mum should also know:
What is the hormone status of the tumour? Er (estrogen), PR (progesterone) and HER2.
If she is post menopausal and has ER/PR+ cancer, she should be prescribed Arimidex. If pre-menopausal, tamoxifen.
If HER2+ Herceptin witll be prescribed.
The type of chemo (there are many) will be decided by the Oncologist for her individual case.
After my surgeries (lumpectomy and then total axillary removal) I had a bone scan, liver scan and chest x-ray to make sure there was no spread to these organs. Thankfully it had not. I had 6 rounds of FEC chemo, every 3 weeks, then 25 rads - daily Mon-Fri with a break at weekends. My cancer was diagnosed almost 5 yrs ago and I believe there are newer chemo therapies. Thankfully, I have had no recurrence.
I don't know if this is the information you want - if not, come back and one of us will try and answer your questions.
Hope your Mum soon feels better.
Your Mum should also ask what the size of the tumour was, the stage and grade.
The pathophysiology of breast cancer accepted at present is that it is n o more local pathology but a systemic disease. Hence there is no point in just addressing the local management, and systemic burden should also be addressed. The surgery plays a role in eliminating the local tumour load. The systemic ones require chemotherapy or the hormonal therapy.
Various factors decide the role of further management
1. the hormone receptor status
2 tumour histology and the grade
3. margins of the resected specimen for clearance
At this stage you would require a oncologist opinion for deciding further. Discuss with him about all treatment plans.
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Chemotherapy and radiation therapy tries to kill the cancerous cells. Unfortunately, they often harm your body in the process. There are natural supplements that do a good job of killing cancerous cells, but don't cause harm to your body. A few supplements do have potential to be toxic to the body, and should probably just be used in conjunction with a naturopath or alternative doctor. These include cesium, artemisia, and B17. In this report you will learn only about completely safe cancer supplements that can be used with no supervision.
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It's the nature of the medical/drug industry. Doctors use and recommend drugs that are approved in a process that costs hundreds of millions of dollars. The drug companies only make drugs that can be patented. That way they can sell them for huge mark-ups and have no competition.
ALL Did you know that CAT SCANS are equivalent to 400 chest xrays in Radiation.
Did you know that TAXOL kills veins and cripples the area where its been administered....
Did you know that HERCEPTIN 2 gives your cardiotoxidity...weakens your HEART...TAXOL combined with HER2 Govt approved only if you take HER2 WITH TAXOL...wow That sounds like blackmail..Their aim is to kill you one way or the other.
ALL After feeling three lumps in my left breast last december 2006. They did a mamogram on the breast and you could see the lumps quiet clear. I then went on to have the biopsy which was via Ultra sound visual system by which you could see the lumps quiet clear again. These lumps turned out to be grade 3 Cancer, which had infected two lympnodes. I then had surgery after nuclear dye had been administered to keep the Doc on track when removing my breast and finding all the supposed infected areas. The surgeon took 15 lympnodes plus the sentinal gland in this operation along with the whole breast removal. It was the ongoing treatment that had me rather bewildered as to the system of which followed. I was hit with AC x 4 Cyclophosphamide, Amend, Granistron, Hydrochlorid, and Dexamethasone [sent my sugar levels sky high spent week in hospital with that] with maxalon to stabalize my system and diabetic 2 medications. This was only in the first 4 treatments at 3 week intervals. Then HER2 combined with TAXOL another 4 treatments...Now I am down onto HER2 on its own...My heart rate first up was 38% next 42% next 47% the next test is pending. I have decided that if the heart does not come up over 50% next test that my treatment should be stopped. I need an opinion here?
ALL To my way of thinking my breast should have been hit with radiation to shrink the cancer berfore surgery was administered. Thus giving a more direct approach to the cancer via the surgeon. Then when the wound was healed I should have been hit again with radiation. Then to complete the process of doses of HER2 on its own....In my opinion...too many mistakes have been made on this problem with not enough thought gone into it...I also need an opionion here?
CORRUPT PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY. They pay big money to keep us sick with medicines, that in the long term kill us.
ALL THE THINGS DOCTORS DONT TELL YOU ABOUT HER2
Herceptin with chemotherapy
In the other studies, women with metastatic disease got even better results when they took Herceptin together with the chemotherapy drugs Taxol or Adriamycin (chemical name: doxorubicin) plus Cytoxan (chemical name: cyclophosphamide). These drug combinations shrank the tumors of nearly half the women (45%) treated. In contrast, less than one third (29%) of those women who received chemotherapy alone had a similar response. When Herceptin was added to the chemotherapy, it boosted survival by an average of 5 months compared to chemotherapy alone.
A small number of the women taking the combination of Herceptin and Adriamycin had significant heart problems, including congestive heart failure. This is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump effectively. Adriamycin was blamed for most of this effect. Herceptin on its own rarely causes heart damage. But the two drugs given together resulted in more heart damage than expected. For this reason, the combination of Herceptin and Adriamycin is no longer recommended.
Navelbine chemotherapy combined with Herceptin has also been studied recently in clinical trials.
Serious heart side effects
Preliminary results from the HERA Trial: Herceptin Taken Less Frequently at Higher Doses Does Not Increase Risk of Heart Damage Less commonly, Herceptin can damage the heart's ability to pump blood effectively. Find out more about the benefits and side effects of Herceptin. Rarely (about 5% of the time), the heart damage is bad enough that women experience stroke or life-threatening congestive heart failure—a condition in which the heart can't pump effectively. Slightly more often (about 7% of the time), Herceptin causes mild heart failure.
Women who experience mild or more serious heart damage can stop taking Herceptin and start taking heart-strengthening medications. This often brings heart function back to normal.
While heart damage can be more severe when Herceptin is given along with other chemotherapy drugs known to cause heart damage, including Adriamycin (chemical name: doxorubicin) and possibly other drugs like it.
Taking Herceptin with the chemotherapy drug Taxol (chemical name: paclitaxel) does not increase your risk of severe heart damage. Studies have shown that this combination causes only slightly more mild heart damage than Herceptin alone. Women in clinical trials who are receiving Herceptin plus Taxol are being watched very closely for this effect.
Testing your heart before and during Herceptin treatment
Before starting Herceptin therapy, you should have an echocardiogram or a MUGA scan to check how well your heart is functioning.
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to take detailed pictures of the heart as it pumps blood. For this quick test, you lie still for a few minutes while a device that gives off sound waves is briefly placed on your ribs, over your heart. There is no radiation exposure with this test.
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Hi, I'm Yenny's brother. Thanks for the quick response and interest you all show, we really appreciate that.
Here's the pathology report, verbatim, for what it's worth:
Breast; Left, Infiltrating carcinoma
- Estrogen Receptor: POSITIVE
* Associated with relatively favorable outcome and responsiveness to hormonal therapy
* Proportion score = 4/5
* Intensity score = 3/3
- Progesterone Receptor: POSITIVE
* Associated with relatively favorable outcome and increased responsiveness to hormonal therapy
* Proportion score = 2/5
* Intensity score = 2/3
- erbB2/Her2 Over-expression: INDETERMINATE
* HercepTest score = 2+
Thanks in advance for the time and effort,