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Are there alternatives to chemo in Stage II Breast cancer?

By July 29, 2010 - 6:10pm
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In April I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Lobular Breast Cancer. They said since it was early stage and hormone receptor negative, that I possibly would not need chemo. When I had the lumpectomy a few weeks ago, they told me it was Stage II (tumor was 2,4 centimeters), and it was actually ductal cancer. When I asked how it changed, my doctor said when they did the initial biopsy it appeared to be lobular, however it is now ductual with lobular features. The reason I am giving all this information is, that now I am told I need chemo because it is Her2/neu positive. How do I know they didn't make a mistake with that diagnosis as well? The cancer was invasive, but the sentinel nodes were clear. Can you have the Herceptin treatment without chemo? I am trying so hard to not have chemo, as my daughter and I have both lost friends to not the cancer, but the chemo. I read it is good to know what your percentage of recurrence is, however my doctor did not supply me with that information. Is that something they would know? Please help. I am suppose to meet with the medical oncologist next Tuesday. Thank you.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Cancerfighter - Thanks for your question and welcome to our site. Fighting cancer every day isn't easy, is it? It sounds like you've done a lot of research and are trying to find the best route possible.

If you have reason to doubt your oncologist then you may want to get a second opinion. Most insurance companies will support this, but it's good to double check first if cost is a concern.

Herceptin is usually used in conjunction with chemotherapy. You can find more information here: http://www.herceptin.com/breast-cancer-resources/faqs.jsp You can call the company's hotline, which has nurses available 24/7, at 866.449.HER2

The American Cancer Society lists local therapy (surgery and radiation) as an option for Stage II at this page: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-treating-by-stage

Cancer.net, which is the consumer site for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, lists multiple therapies on this page: http://www.cancer.net/patient/Cancer+Types/Breast+Cancer?sectionTitle=Treatment

We are not able to provide treatment recommendations at EmpowHER but can help you locate resources to evaluate and discuss with your oncologist and medical team. I hope these resources are helpful.

Take care,

July 29, 2010 - 6:55pm
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