Mom’s breast cancer – chemo not an option for us
Hi Dr Chris,
My name is L. My mum has just been diagnosed with breast cancer but unfortunately we have been told she’s in the advanced stage and that the cancer has spread to other parts of her body the most recent case was a pelvic mass noticed in an ultrasound scan.
My mum had renal failure and doctor had to perform a surgery by putting stent through to the kidney as she had problem urinating. Now she can pee naturally and the next step is a CT Scan to find out where the tumour in her pelvis is.
My mum is 73 this year and we haven’t told her about her cancer yet. We also haven’t spoken to the oncologist but we know chemotherapy is NOT an option for us.
We just want to know if you are still in practice as we would like to see you when my mum is out of the hospital. And of course once we have told her the truth. Please, Dr I need your advice as in what’s the next step. I hope you can help provide some light as in if we shd do what the oncologist will be telling us or do we seek alternative therapy?
Thank you for taking the time to read this email (if it ever reaches you!).
Reply: Where are you from? You can come and see me in Penang with all the medical reports and scans.
Hi Dr Chris
Mum is currently in P Hospital and she should be discharged this Thursday as she’s still recovering from the surgery yesterday. We were referred to an oncologist and tomorrow he will be performing a biopsy and thereafter will have a chat with us. I live in KL with my family while my parents live in Batu Pahat. Once discharged I will get a copy of her medical report and scan and should I mail it to you or do you have to see her personally with the report?
Once again I thank you for your time. I just went to see mum and she looks happy and at peace and I don’t have the heart to tell her now she has cancer. My dad also reminded us not to tell her just yet….
Reply: Why do biopsy if you don’t want chemo? Do biopsy only if you want chemo.
According to my mum the doctor in P Hospital “placed a fine needle through her left breast where the tumour is and drew out a sample” but she doesn’t know what procedure that was but I think it was a biopsy. The doctor insisted that wasn’t a biopsy as a biopsy requires a longer needle.
I understand why you advised against a biopsy but..isn’t biopsy the only way to make a definitive cancer diagnosis, as it provides the most accurate analysis of tissue?
What other choices do we have besides getting a biopsy as we do not know to which body part exactly the cancer has spread.
Thank you and I appreciate your reply and help even before we have met.
Reply: I have written all these in my books and also in my website … anyway…what they did is called needle biopsy …..IF YOU WANT TO DO CHEMO AND CONTINUE WITH MEDICAL TREATMENT…GO AHEAD WITH THE BIOPSY…IF YOU DON’T WANT CHEMO THEN BIOPSY IS MEANINGLESS.
Thank you. I have bought your e-book and I will read up and put the biopsy on hold.
Reply: Good and at least you learn something!