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Old 01-11-2004, 10:05 PM   #1
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I gather that we have a different treatment priority in Australia with Herceptin
Paclitaxel and Docotaxel (Taxol and Taxotere here) only used as second line treatments and/or for stage IV/metastatic disease. I am 51 with a small (2.5 cm) primary invasive ductal ca (mammogramme and ultrasound negative but there was a lump with a positive biopsy) removed with mastectomy and lymph node dissection 15 months ago. There was a second area of tumour contiguous with the primary site so this made the tumour mass bigger. Tumour ER and PR neg HER2 +++ only 13 mm from chest wall 20/30 matted nodes no mets but a ? second primary in other breast on PET scan. Had 6 cycles of FAC and 25 radio treatments followed by a second mastectomy and lumpectomy of chest wall 9 months after radio finished. All that went well and the lump at first mastectomy site was just a foreign body reaction to suture material not a recurrence!!! Well I thought I was a gonna before the second op and am now delighted to be cancer free and a survivor. Plus my thoracic back and rib pain (more evidence of a recurrence I thought) has gone so guess that was just related to postural difficulties secondary to chest wall assymetry. I am so glad to be free of both breasts and to not have to worry about another false negative mamogram (I had three in three years). I'd recommend bilateral mastectomy to anyone who is ambivalent.
P.S. There is no family history of breast cancer for the 100 years that I know about.
PPS. I am delighted to read of the wonderful success stories with Herceptin so even if I do get a recurrence I need not be down hearted. Thanks for the encouragement of your stories.
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