What's the best way, in 2009, to beat breast cancer?
August 16, 2009 3:30 PM Subscribe
My wife has breast cancer - the tumor, discovered only last week, is now just under 4 centimetres and it has reached at least one of the lymph nodes - probably caused by the breast biopsy itself, but a metastasis all the same. Please help us decide whether we're doing the right thing.
posted by MiguelCardoso to health & fitness (17 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
We've decided not to go anonymous, in the hope that any sympathy for her (Schweppes Girl) or for me would convince someone to help us.
Although we trust our surgeon here in Portugal and feel lucky for all the help we've received, we'd still like to have an informal second opinion, from oncologists and breast cancer survivors who know (or can guess) what awaits us.
Maria João is 41; has no family history of cancer; has never had babies and has a regular menstrual cycle.
The plan we've been given is as follows:
1) Chimiotherapy: 4 sessions, 3 weeks apart with steroids the day before before and docetaxere and daunomycim.
2) Lumpectomy in November
3) Radiation therapy (5 weeks, daily)
4) Tamixofen (an estrogen-blocking, menopause-induciing drug) for 5 years
5) More chimiotherapy after the surgery
We get the impression that the breast tumor is easy: it's the cancer that is difficult to prevent from recurring. Also that, since she's young and healthy, the cancer is more invasive and the treatment can be as aggressive as it possibly can be.
Is this too much? Is this too little? What can we expect? Maria João is very feminine (apparently just feminine enough for the greedy cancer) and it breaks my heart to hear her say she will never be the same woman again. Body change is the problem, since she's dysmorphic already.
We live in Portugal - it´s a small country with not that many specialists and a noticeable time-lag (and conservativeness) regarding the latest discoveries.
This is why we're appealing to you: not because we aren't grateful for the quality of the medical assistance we are getting. But because of the distance, in time, in space and in research.
Reassurance would be fine. Anything else would be wonderful.
Maria João and Miguel