Anyone else having Neo adjuvant Chemotherapy?

Just interested to see if anyone else is having their chemo before surgery? Most of the posts I see are from people that have already had their surgery. Because I am still young (so glad 40 is considered young here) they have said they prefer to do it this way so they know what will affect the tumour and hopefully shrink it before surgery so they can do a smaller op.

Also interested to see what other people having treatment this way round have been told. 

Oh by the way dx was Stage 1 Grade 3 21mm invasive HER2+ hormone -ve.


My plan was to have chemo before surgery, but unfortunately my tumour was a stubborn one which didn’t respond to the chemo, so I had my surgery brought forward. I’m now back on the chemo road, although only one more to go. Don’t be disheartened by my story though, as I know of several ladies who had a fabulous response to the chemo and didn’t require as big an op, and one lady had a complete pathological response!! So it does work, I was just unlucky xx

Hello Clare. I was dx with lobular BC in 2009and had lumpectomy, chemo and radiotherapy. I November 2014 was dx with a recurrance which showed up as inflamatory BC with a rash and extensive skin cnages under all of my breast. My surgeon felt that in order to save as much skin as possible I should have chemo first. On Christmas Eve I started 6 x Taxotare plus Perjeta and Herceptin. Even though the Herceptin had to be suspended after 4 sessions due to heart changes, the Onc is amazed at the results . He said normally this treatment would be given after surgery but because of having it first they are able to see the full effect. After mastectomy the biopsy showed only a 2mm speck of tumour, so little that the lab phoned the surgeon to say they could find nothing and was she sure there had been one.

Sorry doe being long-winded

Hi Clare


I’m having chemo first.


Have a 3.6mm lump which wasn’t picked up on a mammogram and 2 swollen lymph nodes. Having 4 x FEC then 4 x T followed by rads then an operation. Had first FEC 13 days ago. Again this was because I was considered young (I’m 51)


Do you have a date for the chemo yet?


So far so good with side effects. Very tired for a couple of days and starting to lose body hair (had cold cap so head ok so far). Already dreading the T as a friend of mine is suffering with side effects from that.


They did originally suggest operating first but once they had actually found the source I think they realised that ideally they want to shrink it first. I am quite slim with small boobs and the lump cannot be felt. When I had my first examination the nurse mistook my ribs for a lump!


Also they want me to put on weight before operating. Think I might struggle with that although certainly have not lost my apetite and am doing zero exercise.



Hello Claire - I had my results yesterday also Stage 1 Grade 3 17mm invasive and am 42. Neo adjuvant chemo has been recommended for me due to family history and chance to gene test before surgery. It will give chance to decide whether to go for Mastectomy or Lumpectomy dependent on size and result at the end. I am still so confused looking pros and cons but from what I’ve been told and read the success rate fore before or after surgery is the same. Hope your treatment is going well. Jane xxx

Hi ladies I too am having chemo first. I have a grade three lump. On my second FEC. Currently a member of anyone starting chemo in September thread. Love to all xx

Hi Dilys. I am in a similar situation. Clear mammogram in Dec and found lump in July. Grade 3 Her2 . It has not spread. Your dr can give meds for the indigestion. I am in Omeprazole which helps. I drink Lime and ginger tea, others try crystallised ginger or ginger ale.I am also using Gaviscon if needed. The tiredness will vary. Just listen to your body and rest when you need. I find that I have more energy in the morning. If I am going out in the evenung I take it gently all day and that helps.
I have been hospitalised 2 with neutropeania and have to give the injections. They are not bad but can give you pain in the bones. The chemo is doable. I don’t know if you have joined the monthly threads yet but they are a real help from women at the same stage of treatment. I would have to say that they have been a lifeline for me. Love suzy xx

I have just had the FEC part so far. I am having T in a weeks time. I lost my hair very quickly, I have been using Deresina for cotton beanies and scarves. I know others use Annabandana as well. When you decide to get your hair shaved off just leave a very short ammount. Just be prepared for how cold it can be. It takes a while to get used to being bald but you soon do

To join the monthly site go to the monthly thread on the chemo page and just post when you feel like it. You can also subscribe and get email updates for threads you follow. Hope this helps. All the best and looking forward to seeing you on the boards. xx

I’m in the same chemo group as Suzy. Great bunch of ladies x

Wigs4U have a good supply of turbans and are reasonably priced. You’ll Find them on the web. x

Hi there lovely ladies


Was just browsing on the forum and this thread from Clare caught my eye. I’m a mum of two and 41. I too am having chemo first and had my 2nd cycle last Wed. So far I only know I have Grade 2, 1.2mm invasive ductal with lymph node involvement, oestrogen positive, er neg. My scans have come back clear and the surgeon recommended chemo first to treat the whole body first, before surgery. Sometimes, this worries me as I’m always aware of the the lump still there, maybe growing, maybe not? My oncologist  informed me last meeting that I may not get a check to see if chemo has worked until the end of chemo. What’s others experience of this? I had a marker put in my breast prior to chemo for the reason of checking progress I thought? I worry everyday that the chemo isn’t working and things inside of me getting worse! Hoping you are all coping well with side effects. Bonnie

Hi Bonnie. How are you feeling after your second cycle? I have my first on Monday. Our C’s are quite similar and I’m also having chemo first. Had the clip fitted so that hopefully the lump will shrink considerably so they will know where to operate. I’ve been told I’ll have an appt to see oncologist after each cycle but not sure what that will entail. I like you worry that the lump is there. It’s nearly 4 weeks since my diagnosis and nothing to date. Lots of appts but worry no treatment. I am so glad it’s starting next week! I can totally understand your worry but I’ve been told that our type of C does normally respond well to chemo. Will keep positive for you and hope your coping well. Take care Jane xx

Hi Bonnie - we are I’m 42 and have 2 children 12 and 8. My initial biopsy didn’t show any node involvement but it’s the unknown as only had an MRI scan this week and won’t know for sure until surgery. I know that chemo will cover the whole body but always at the back of my mind. What other scans have you had? I’m having chemo before due to family history and time to have genetic test to determine route for surgery but as it takes so long couldn’t wait so this was suggested.
Am sure it was the right route for you but maybe talk to your BCN about your concern about progress through chemo. How are you coping with it? Any good tips. Are you having FEC-T? I’m nervous for Monday. Having the PICC line fitted. It the unknown I know all the side effects but with 2 children to protect I’m trying to get as prepared as I possible can. Sending big hugs Jane xx

Hi Janey and Bonnie apparently in the breast cancer guidelines it is best practice to have chemo prior to Surgery. Especially if you are young. I too was worried that the tumour would carry on growing but have been assured by my onc that the chemo will be killing / shrinking it.

Ahhhh, thanks Turnercat didn’t know that. Makes me feel a little more secure in my order of treatment I guess. I have now reminded the Oncologist about maybe testing half way through to see if it’s working? Have an appointment next Tues. Having my last FEC next Weds then on to 3XT. Coped ok on the FEC, although oral thrush been a right pain and the first few days after I feel odd/ sick. Heard so many things about the T side of things, really fretting about it. Clare, I had full body scan then bone scan. Standard at my hospital apparently at diagnosis stage. Bonnie xx

Hi all my name is Filomena I’m 32 and have been diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer! I start chemotherapy on Monday and am so nervous about how I will feel? Is it doable? I’m having fec t.I have been reading some of your posts I think your all amazing ladies and admire your strength I’m not too strong and scared can anyone help with how it will be? Thank you filomena

Hi Filomena. So sorry to hear about your diagnosis but joining the forum really does help and there are loads of lovely ladies here to offer you all the help and support you need. It looks like we have the same C mine is also grade 3 invasive. I started my treatment last Monday on FEC-T and it is do able. You can do it we are all here to support each other. The week has been up and down I have to say but taking each day as it comes I have found helps. There is a great forum in the Chemo Monthly Threads for November ladies lots of comments on there and tips as well. We are all here for each other to get us through this journey. Take care of yourself. Jane xxxx

Thank you so much that lovely of you

I hope all goes well for you xx do you live in Kent by any chance? Xx