I am sure you have heard the old saying "Life is a Gamble". Well as of late that saying is new meaning to me. I have had to make many decisions recently were I had to weigh risks and place some wages on what I felt was the right breast cancer treatment for me. My first big decision, do I have genetic testing (my sister had breast cancer, might my daughter be at risk?) Lumpectomy or mastectomy? Next big decision was do I do radiation treatment; well it did not seem absolutely necessary since the cancer was well contained, in its early stages and had clear margins when removed. For my peace of mind I said yes to radiation just in case there were some rebel cells lurking in my breast. Now to decide the type of radiation therapy, I choose mammosite therapy. Yes, I would choose it again even after receiving an article I received from a friend sent. In October The New York Times ran a series of articles discussing misleading FDA approval of treatment therapies and specifically cited Mammosite.
An email came today from Sandra, a woman who happened not only to have my name but also be my age, and was recently diagnosed with DCIS. She addressed my next dilemma. Did I opt for the hormone therapy which lasts 5 yrs?
First of all I discovered the hormone therapy does not work for everyone and I would need to be tested to see if it could be effective. I looked at my odds of recurrence without the treatment (5-10%) compared with treatment (10-20%), costs, having to take another med everyday for 5 yrs and the likely increase in the hot flashes I was already burning up with. I decided against it. To me I considered myself a very low risk for re-occurrence so the net benefit would be minimal.
I also have told myself I will eat better, work out more, and basically make all the healthy changes I can make. I do not smoke and drink in moderation. I am quite convinced if I keep incorporating healthy habits, hopeful words and helpful people in my life I have a better chance of living a longer, healthier life.
Remember, get as much good information as you can about the choices you need to make, and weigh the odds. Look at yourself and your lifestyle realistically, change what you can, and stack the deck in your favor for the output you want.
Be Healthy and Happy