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Family Support
Questions about breast cancer & family support.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
7/17/2012Hello, I'm struggling with how to best support my wife in the treatment decision-making process. She is stage 1 with excellent prognostic indicators (node negative, highly ER/PR +, clear margins). We're currently waiting on oncotype dx results. My fear is if I suggest a more conservative treatment such as chemo and/or radiation (depending on the oncotype dx results) and she later develops a reccurrence, I, and maybe she, will blame me for the suggestion. However, I don't want her to go through a masectomy and all that it entails unneccessarily. So I'm stuck not knowing how to help her with such a big decision. I don't want to just sit here and shrug my shoulders and tell her I can't help her, that it's all her decision.
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
7/17/2012The type of surgery has no bearing on whether she needs chemo or not. it only has a bearing on whether radiation is needed. lumpectomy with radiation go together. mastectomy would not require radiation based on what you have described. lumpectomy and mastectomy are equal from a survival perspective too. let the oncotypeDX score come back to help dirve the discussion. her medical oncologist should be the one making the recommendations too rather than you. the final decision needs to be hers and the medical oncologists otherwise you are correct that you may advise something and she follows it and later it comes back to bite you. hopefully the score will be low and hormonal therapy will be her home run.

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