Is Chemotherapy necessary even when the tumor is small and not spread to Axillary lymph nodes?

My mother(53 years had lumptectomy and a tumor of about 3.5 x 3 cms was removed. The biopsy report says negative on the Axillary nodes.. so the cancer has not spread to other parts as I understand that Axillary lymph nodes are first which receive the drainage form the breast. The Onco surgeon has recommended chemo of 6 cycles, followed by radiation therapy. The first chemo session has already begun and she is already weak, starting with hair loss. She receives Adriamycin, 85mg IV, 5FU 850mg IV and Endoxan 850mg IV in her chemo therapy. I am worried about the vast side effects of Chemotherapy and if my mother would withstand it. Therefore I would like to ask if it is correct , to go with Chemotherapy ( with those drugs) even when the cancer has not yet spread to Axillary nodes

Thank you very much for your answers.

7 Replies

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  • Hi Fathekhan. Chemotherapy & radiation are must. Even last year when my sister had detected we were also of the same confusion - if cancer has not spread to lymph nodes then why chemo & radiation? But after the guidance - she has undergone chemo and radiation. Dr will guide you more technically

  • Hi Fateh, sorry to hear about your mom. this is the standard procedure surgery, chemotherapy and then radiation...even after removing the tumor...may be there is cancer cell in undetectable state, means which can not be detected with currently available technology...so chemotherapy medicine will try to kill all cancer cell from the whole body and radiation will kill the remaining cancer cell from the operated area if anything left there.

    related to side effect..yes we can understand its really tough to manage but nothing is impossible..just it needs more effort to cope with side effect of chemotherapy...give her lot of fluid like 2 lt water every day it will help to remove the toxins from body..check the forum you will get more information about chemo side effect..

  • I think the size of the tumor is one of the deciding factors regarding the chemo and RT. Since your mom has already had the first cycle of chemotherapy, you have to bravely go through the devastating effects, but rest assured, she would be free of all problems once she finishes her 6 cycles. Her hair will grow back, nails, toes and tongue will regain the natural colour, eye lashes and eye brows will come back, nausea and vomiting will stop, and with calcium supplements her bones will get stronger. Everything is going to be fine. wish you all the best

  • Thank you guys for the support and your valuable suggestions.. :)

  • 1. Chemotherapy is necessary in your mother's case. We give chemotherapy, when the size of tumour is more than 1 cm or any node is positive in the arm pit.

    2. The dosage will have been calculated according to her physical profile. So do not worry, she will surely tolerate it well.

    Feel free to ask any questions. And feel free to share any views.

  • Thank you Dr. Shah... :)

  • Have your mother's vitamin D level checked, also. If it is low supplements can help with bone health, but her levels should be checked until the right dose is found. My doctor checked every three months.

    Par

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