I've been diagnosed via biopsy w/Stage III ductal cancer, triple negative. I am refusing surgery and meds for personal reasons. My doctor would not offer any specific information. I just want to have some idea of how long I have so I can put my affairs in order.
Dear rufus434, Your question is impossible to answer with any degree of specificity. No one can see into the future and tell you how long you will live. Recommendations for treatment are based on research of various options in the treatment of breast cancer at different stages of disease. Variables such as stage of disease, receptor status, etc. are taken into account when making these recommendations for treatment.
Without treatment the cancer will continue to grow and spread – we do not know what area of the body it will grow and spread to or how fast it will spread. Your doctor/any doctor would not be able to tell you what to expect, as symptoms show up they will be able to offer recommendations of how to manage these symptoms. You may want to consider what your goals of health care are and discuss with your doctor so they can help you with your care as time goes on.
I don't understand why you are going through the trouble of asking an oncologist who helps you fight your cancer, this question. It's like seeing your obstetrician and then asking him for an abortion?
Plus, this is not a question even an expert can tell you precisely about, as he/she cannot even do with someone he is treating. Cancer is a journey you go on with your doctor and many decisions are made together as time goes on?
maybe this is unfair, but I would not be surprised if you encounter others who will not immediately have a response, never mind a 'positive' response to your above statement.
Also remember that people change their minds, feelings and thoughts, and you do not have to write your preferences in stone even if you are sure.
In my experience, when you have cancer, things change in ways that you didn't quite expect or were able to foresee. (many of them good) And chemo is no longer like it used to be with your kneeling infront of the toilet vomiting day and night. It's really quite bearable these days. I also had stage 3 cancer and very aggressive and neither chemo nor radiation was really that bad. Radiation especially. and the surgery is pain wise 'a piece of cake' comopare to like a C-section. The thought of having your breast cut off is really scary, I know, But it is not very painful.
As Katrin said, not even an expert can really answer that question, even when s/he has relatively complete information about her/his patient (whereas you did not even give your age, general health status, TNM status, whether you are in IIIA or IIIB, etc.).
My best advice would be to "put your affairs in order" NOW, then concentrate on enjoying the rest of your life, with or without treatment, as best you can.
I agree with the important points bb makes, especially as far as rufus434 life situation is concerned. Sometimes it would seem unlikely that a 30 year of mother of three would want to refuse treatment. On the other hand it seems more logical if the person in 80, uninsured, unhappy and really sick.
But then it does always work this way and an old person may have much more life energy, and peace within her, and joy than a young person.
So I want to apologize for my initial slight agitation and join bb in what she said. I just wish you well, or as well as can be.
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