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Question concerning estrogen positive vs negative based on percentages. My path report said I was 1% ER. I've assumed I am ER/PR - but apparently some oncologists want to treat with estrogen blockers even at 1%.

Alice Klobukowski Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Stage 2A Patient over 7 years
 
  • Sharon Danielson Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2007
    Alice, So you are 1% ER+ PR+ ? I am just speculating but your oncologist is probably not going to leave anything to chance. Your doctor is going to use all the tools he can to help you. That would be a question I would be asking at my next appointment. Take care, Sharon
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • julie s Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 2A Patient
    Hmmm... I'm triple negative so I won't be on any hormone therapies post treatment. I don't know if I'd be willing to for only a 1% ... I'd have to weigh the pros and cons ... How much of a benefit does your oncologist say this would have? Does it outweigh the side effects?
    over 7 years Flag
    • Alice Klobukowski Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I saw my Onc on July 6 aor my last TCH treatment. I was due for a short Herceptin vacation in anticipation of a mastectomy. At that appointment, he just mentioned that I was 1%, and then he hesitated. That's all it took to get my mind churning....

      more

      I saw my Onc on July 6 aor my last TCH treatment. I was due for a short Herceptin vacation in anticipation of a mastectomy. At that appointment, he just mentioned that I was 1%, and then he hesitated. That's all it took to get my mind churning. Now, it turns out, I will have radiation instead of mastectomy. Starting tomorrow, I will have 31 treatments. I'm due to see my Onc in early September and will resume Herceptin. Will he wait until Herceptin is complete before considering a hormone blocker? I don't want hormone blockers,mbut her2+ is so scary, I'll try whatever he thinks is best.

      over 7 years Flag
    • Coco Smith Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hello Alice - my ER result was almost the same as yours. My staging was earlier than yours however.

      You need to be very directive with your Oncologist if you want a straight answer out of him or her.

      The question you need to ask is this - can...

      more

      Hello Alice - my ER result was almost the same as yours. My staging was earlier than yours however.

      You need to be very directive with your Oncologist if you want a straight answer out of him or her.

      The question you need to ask is this - can you please run my histopathology stats through Adjuvant! Online [it is algorithm to assess your stats for local, regional and distant recurrence, disease free survival, breast cancer specific survival and overall survival using different treatment modalities] and tell me what my DFS, OS stats are with and without the treatment you are proposing.

      To be 100% prepared - you can log on to Adjuvant! Online yourself - just fill in the fields stating you are a Dr - there is no law stopping you from doing that, have a copy of your full histopathology report beside you, input all your data into the relevant fields and hey presto - you can slice and dice your own survival stats as pie chart, graph etc.You can print it out and take it with you to your next meeting with your Oncologist so if you want you can compare his/her report with yours.

      The the critical question once you have this information about your risk of eg., dying, - what are my morbidity and mortality stats risks from the treatment you are proposing?

      Now - in my case with the hormone therapy could only benefit me by 33% - which sounds persuasive UNTIL I realised it is 33% of my overall 1% risk ie., it would only benefit me 0.33% BUT the stats for morbidity were many.many times higher and so was the mortality risk.

      So my decision was a no brainer - I was never going to agree to have hormone therapy that could only benefit me by 0.33% but could harm me by more than 10%.

      Fortunately my Oncologist was sensible chap who attends the most prestigious breast cancer international conferences, is a Professor who researches in the field and he leaned over and gave me this warning "The greatest danger to you is over-treatment." He was actually warning me to be careful of cancer specialists who were so treatment oriented and practised such defensive type of medicine, that they would over treat even when the stats were so starkly against the benefits of the treatment.

      There is one caveat to this - once you have had cancer, we all face the risk of it returning. If you ask pointed questions and say no to eg., hormone therapy in the event the benefits are too small vis a vis the risks, then you need to make some type of peace with yourself for not throwing everything possible at your cancer, including treatments that may harm you far more than they help. Your personality type is critical here because irrespective of which way you go, you need to be able to not beat yourself up about it. Some women cannot feel okay unless they pursue every single treatment possible, no matter what. Others are like me and want to know and weight up and pros and cons, and only accept treatment if there is enough of a benefit to outweigh the damage. The decision comes down to your core self, your personality and your level of comfort with risk one way or the other.
      Good luck and please share with us your decision and reasons for it.

      over 7 years Flag
    • Alice Klobukowski Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Coco, thank you for your thorough and thoughtful response to my question. You've given me a lot to think about. I trust my oncologist who has an excellent reputation with decades of experience. His own wife is a BC survivor who has had a...

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      Coco, thank you for your thorough and thoughtful response to my question. You've given me a lot to think about. I trust my oncologist who has an excellent reputation with decades of experience. His own wife is a BC survivor who has had a recurrence. I am treated at a medical school with the NCI designation, so I feel I've got a lot going for me. I will keep you posted, but the issue of hormone blockers probably won't come up for several months.

      over 7 years Flag

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