Hi. Invasive ductal carcinoma cannot be cured by radiation alone. At the very least, a mastectomy or lumpectomy (surgery removing a part of the breast along with the tumor) should be done. If the tumor is small (less than or equal to 0.5 cm) and no tumor spread to the axillary nodes was found, then radiation treatment after the surgery may suffice. But a larger tumor or metastases to the axillary nodes will require the addition of either chemotherapy or hormonal treatment, or both.
I recently under went a lumpectomy in July, I also has lymph nodes involved. The tumors were removed, my margins came back clear. I don't want to go through chemotherapy, I am willing to do radiation along with hepercin will this help me at all?
I think what the doctor is trying to tell you is that surgery in your case is necessary, and which you now say you had. He also said that especially if lymph nodes are involved, chemotherapy is highly recommended and the right way to go in your case. It will not guarantee that you will live forever but it will increase your chances of living longer.
I do understand what you are saying, after all mt tests from the muga scan to the mri bone scat and cat scan. Blood work and so on, after all the tests came back would the doctors know if the cance has spresd to other area outside of my lymph nodes?
Hi. If the cancer has been found in the lymph nodes, there is a significant probability that there is already microscopic spread to other areas of the body. This microscopic spread may not be easily detected by conventional imaging procedures. So even if the initial tests were negative for distant metastases, if the lymph nodes are already involved, it is imperative to do some additional treatment like chemotherapy, since we are not sure that the negative results are totally reliable.
Is there a time lime to have chemotherapy?, right now I am unable to have the chemotherapy due to financial reason. I am not counting it out all together maybe sometime next year?
This is what I have been told. When you are first diagnosed, a team of doctors set up your treatment plan. (or a doctor/doctors talk about what they think is the best thing to do in any particular case for the best possible outcome and prevention of reoccurrence.) Then , if the patient agrees to this, you go ahead with it. If you do, then the initial treatments are really the most important of all the treatment, as the goal is to wipe out whatever cancer there is and may be lurking the very first time. If you decide to do chemo a year or so later, this will no longer be part of the initially recommended treatment that according to the doctor's best judgement has the highest chance of working in your best interest. Radiation will certainly help with reoccurrence, and it will attack whatever may have spread outside of the surgical area that was removed.
But as the doctor above explains, with positive lymph nodes there is a chance that the cancer has spread, and in half of the cases those lesions are so tiny that they won't show up on a bone scan or other test. So, this is why chemotherapy is utilized to make sure that if this spread is there it is wiped out by chemo immediately, because after the first chance the cancer will only spread and grow. (I mean even with radiation, it will grow outside of the radiation area.) Radiation is local treatment just like surgery, and chemo is systemic. So is tamoxifen but it's not indicated in your case.
Do not put off chemo because of financial reasons. There are breast cancer advocate organizations that can help you get treatment. I think one of them is called youcanthrive.org, or something close to that. Find an advocate and get the treatment you need. Your LIFE is more important than financial considerations. NOBODY in this country should have to risk recurrence of a life threatening disease because they can't afford treatment.
I had Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in 09. Treatment included 2 lumpectomies, chemotherapy and radiation. When cancer reaches your lymph nodes, you have no idea where the cancer cells have traveled through your body, therefore chemotherapy treatment is necessary.
Do you know of any more of the advocate and financial support groups? Thank you.