Breast cancer - Chemo

My mom (58 years) has breast cancer and has undergone BCT surgery. Now she is being advised for chemo with a port. How safe is it? Doc is suggesting for 4 to 5 chemos. What would be the approximate cost for 4 to 5 chemos.

The oncologist has implanted radiation port in her body already, but now they have decided to go for chemo.

Till the time she has been diagnosed with breast cancer, she was quite healthy and never had any major medical ailment except for normal cold and cough. Even after surgery, she is doing fine.

I understand that immunity system would be damaged by chemo. What kind of changes can we expect in her health from now onwards?

8 Replies

  • 1. Port is safe. No problem in going ahead with that.

    2. Cost of chemo depends on the chemo drugs, the brand, where are they purchased from (from distributor or from hospital), the dose, etc. There are quite a few different drugs available. Prices vary. Best person to answer your doubt is your Medical Oncologist. Solve the cost of drugs with him / her.

    3. She is healthy and that's good. She will tolerate chemo well, don't worry. Weakness and few such effects are a part of chemo, but most patients do not have major issues.

  • Thanks a lot. Just want to understand what triple negative with positive nodes mean? What stage could it be? The lump removed is less than 1 cm in right breast and about 2 cm in left breast. Post BCT investigation, triple negative with positive nodes is confirmed. We didn't expect the tumour to cause this much of damage in a month time. There was a gap of 4 weeks between diagnosis and BCT. Am putting up a brave face with my parents but am going through tough time within. Thanks a lot for giving your time as even we are going through trauma along with her.

  • You certainly need a proper Consultation by a Qualified Medical Oncologist for your questions.

    Your mom seems to have Bilateral cancer

    Normally we test some receptors on the surface of breast cancer cells, called Estrogen Receptor , Progesterone Receptor and Her 2 receptor. Your mom does not have any of this receptor, that is called Triple receptor negative Breast cancer.

    You mom has positive nodes, dunno how many ? ?

    But this is at least Stage II, from the limited information we have

    Your Mom needs a CT scan of Chest Abdomen Pelvis to rule out any further spread of cancer. If that is detected then it becomes Stage IV.

    If that is clear, then its at least Stage II

    Dont feel guilty as a gap of 4 weeks between diagnosis and BCT, does not make a huge impact on final outcome.

    But insist on getting as much information as possible by writing a list of all your questions, and seeking answers from your oncologist. Remember you are paying for the consultation, and you have full rights of knowing the answers to all your questions.

    If you are not happy, seek a second opinion. Those days are gone, when Doctors were considered as Gods and people feared asking questions to a diety and questioning their motives. We live in modern India now...

    Please take some time, to go through a wealth of valuable inputs put in the past of hundreds of patients, who have already been through, what you are currently going through. You have a long journey to go, as there is light at the end of the long dark tunnel.

    There are nearly 99 posts on chemotherapy and many popular posts like Dos and Donts during chemotherapy, sublinks within posts, which should help you get all the answers you seek.

    Yes, chemotherapy has side-effects, but they are manageable and copable, and your mom will sail through these with the best help from your local oncologists and the goodwill of all the team here from Breast Cancer India.

    All the best !

    Dr Rohit Malde MD, DNB, FRCR (UK)

    Consultant Clinical & Radiation Oncologist

    BNH HCG Cancer Centre, Mumbai

  • I absolutely agree with what Dr. Rohit has said. It is important you talk to your doc and clarify the things. I am sorry to say the next statement, but it is amply clear from your questions that your doc has probably not counselled you adequately or you have not asked him adequately. Please understand that decisions in cancer are extremely delicate and a single decision can change a life. Hence it is essential to understand it fully from the person who knows your near and dear one the best and that is - your oncologist. Second and more importantly, decisions are not based on reports but on assessment of the patient and then considering the reports. We, on this forum, can only clarify some doubts. and there are many common questions which almost all patients ask and we request you if you could read up a bit from others' questions here and from the site below, it will solve 95 percent of doubts. All questions you have asked have already been asked. Click "see all posts" and on the right side, you will see all categories, including chemotherapy, radiation, port, triple negative BC, etc. after reading, if you have doubts, we are always here to help you.

    The following link should help you:

    To add, I can understand the apprehension you all must be undergoing. Please don't worry, the tumours are small. Your mom will surely be able to withstand the chemo; go ahead and take proper step wise decisions.

  • Thanks a lot Dr Rohit.. My mom had a PET scan before the surgery and cancer hasn't spread into the remaining parts yet. Dr Dattatreya, Medical Oncologist at Omega Hyderabad is treating her now. The problem is the doctors are so busy that they do not have enough time for the patients, forget about answering questions from caretaker. Becomes so difficult to cope up with the trauma. Am sincerely thankful to the forum as it is giving lot of insight than the doctors who are actually giving treatment to her.

  • We also had a same issue with the doctors. No proper replies. See try to avoid going to big hospitals - see a ONCOLOGIST having all the facilities though it is a small hospital

  • Perhaps what can help future patients is you give a feedback to your oncologist by taking the Patient Experience survey and helping the local practice there.

    Your participation in the survey will help other patients make informed decisions. You will also be helping Dr. Palanki Satya Dattatreya and his staff know how they are doing and how they can improve their services

    Google has 25 reviews and this hopital looks pretty decent with 4.4 stars / 5

    Please prepare a list of questions and organise yourself well, and seek advice. I understand the clinics may be busy, but surely your oncologist should help you if you need appropriate help. You have to do a bit of reading as well and help yourself.

  • My mom has undergone first chemo yesterday.

    Post surgery, the size of the tumor in left breast is 1.2 x 1.5 x 1.3 cms, right breast tumour a bit smaller, triple negative, positive nodes, Grade 3, IDC. Lymph nodes have been removed. Initially, I.e., presurgery, the report was DCIS and post surgery IDC triple negative. What does it mean? How dangerous is it? Also, the next chemo is in 15 days. Does the frequency differ from person to person. My aunt had 21 day cycle.

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