Choosing chemo or not at an advanced age: Thoughts?

Posted by skay @skay, 6 days ago

My mother recently had a double mastectomy.
One breast was a triple negative.
Although the tests from the removal of the first lymphnodes came back clear, they tell us she has the option of having chemo in case it spread.
She is 89 years old. Although she acts 10 years younger than her age, I am afraid she won’t be able to handle the side affects.
We don’t know anyone to talk to about this, please, if you have experience, I would like very much to hear your thoughts.
Thanks

My mother found that she had breast cancer in her late 80s. She was a healthy active senior citizen. I do not know the details of her cancer but I do know that she was offered/recommended chemo. She opted for a lumpoctomy and radiation. She refused to go through the rigors of chemo at her age. She passed away at the age of 95 of natural causes. She’s saw no need to be sick and having to endure the effects from chemo treatment at her advanced age. Her cancer did not return.

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@sandyjr

My mother found that she had breast cancer in her late 80s. She was a healthy active senior citizen. I do not know the details of her cancer but I do know that she was offered/recommended chemo. She opted for a lumpoctomy and radiation. She refused to go through the rigors of chemo at her age. She passed away at the age of 95 of natural causes. She’s saw no need to be sick and having to endure the effects from chemo treatment at her advanced age. Her cancer did not return.

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Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your help.

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@skay, you may be interested in reading these related discussions where @elvandi @mollymiller and others discuss the same decision.

– Going my way: Decided to stop cancer treatments https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/going-my-way/
– Over 70 years old starting Chemo https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/over-70-years-old-starting-chemo/

While not breast cancer, we faced this same issue in our family. Going into the chemo consult, my dad warned us that he did not want to have chemo. After talking with the oncologist and learning he could stop at any time, he decided to give it a try. He had stage 4 colon cancer at 74. The chemo side effects got really tough after 5 or 6 months and he decided to stop. He never regretted his decision to stop chemo.

What is your mom thinking about chemo? Have you talked with her oncologist about the side effects the chemo protocol typically cause?

Liked by Dee

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My father had cancer in this late 80’s and thought chemo would help him but instead it shut down his body. I am not a doctor, but personally at that age I would not do chemo. It is very hard on the body and she may benefit form surgery and radiation with good and proper diet and exercise. Prayers to you and yours

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@dianamiracle. Thank you. Your response brought tears to my eyes. My mom had both breasts removed, so radiation was not necessary. We are leaning toward doing nothing. I pray it's the right decision.

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@colleenyoung

@skay, you may be interested in reading these related discussions where @elvandi @mollymiller and others discuss the same decision.

– Going my way: Decided to stop cancer treatments https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/going-my-way/
– Over 70 years old starting Chemo https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/over-70-years-old-starting-chemo/

While not breast cancer, we faced this same issue in our family. Going into the chemo consult, my dad warned us that he did not want to have chemo. After talking with the oncologist and learning he could stop at any time, he decided to give it a try. He had stage 4 colon cancer at 74. The chemo side effects got really tough after 5 or 6 months and he decided to stop. He never regretted his decision to stop chemo.

What is your mom thinking about chemo? Have you talked with her oncologist about the side effects the chemo protocol typically cause?

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Thank you. I think we are leaning against any chemo. My mom is bone frail and does not weigh much- my biggest concern is that she isn't strong enough physically to fight off the rigors of chemo & side effects.
The more I read here, makes me believe that decision is probably for the best.
Should anything show up in the next scan, we will have to decide then what is for the best.
I'm, to say the least, scared. I'm not ready to lose my momma.

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@skay

@dianamiracle. Thank you. Your response brought tears to my eyes. My mom had both breasts removed, so radiation was not necessary. We are leaning toward doing nothing. I pray it's the right decision.

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You can still eat green and clean and that may help. No processed foods, no dairy, no shellfish and no pork. It makes a difference. Best of luck!

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