Chemo before surgery

Ok so I had my first appointment after getting diagnosed 2 weeks ago. I’m still confused by all the information I was given but I am HER2+, grade 3 with 4cm area and 3 nodes suspected, probably with Pagets disease as my nipple is affected. It sounded bad and I’m not doing too good at the moment. They want to reverse treatment and I will need everything. So chemo first with Herceptin, radiotherapy then surgery. Anyone with a similar diagnosis or treatment plan that can reassure me this is not the end of the world?

Hi Karen,

I didn’t have your diagnosis, but it certainly isn’t the end of the world.

Thankfully, treatment is so much better now with targeted treatment for her2+. 

If you haven’t already, do go over & have a look at the ‘going through treatment’ & ‘targeted therapies’ & chemo threads, where there will be others on similar treatment plans. 


ann x



Hi Karen, glad your results day is finally here.

My diaognosis is similar in some ways. I am HER2+ and grade 3 for 3 bits of cancer.

However mine was surgery first - left MX to remove all the crap !!

Chemo now, Herceptin next and 15 days of rads.

It sounds like they have a plan for you so firstly you are being treated - which I took as a huge positive.

Everyones treatment is made to suit them so don’t feel too bogged down with it all right now.

One step at a time and now you know what is what you can start to get your head around it all but its not easy.

This is the start of getting rid of this sh.t.

Take care - Lou x

Hi Karen, it certainly is a shock, isn’t it? I’m not exactly the same diagnosis , although I was a 23mm ER+ve, HER-2 -ve ductal carcinoma with 7 lymph nodes showing signs of cancer. Everyone is different, and treatment will be tailored to you. Mine was, and is, the big standard op then chemo then rads route. If it has been reversed then it will be for a very good reason. If you phone your BCN I am sure you can ask this question and discuss your concerns. I was very fraught when I was first diagnosed , but once you are in the system and have a planned pathway you will feel more in control. Hope there is someone on here who is similar and can help. Good luck. X

Thank you for your replies. Just trying to get my head around it. I will do everything they say, so many questions and feel so scared x

If my biopsy comes back more invasive cancer then it will be 6 rounds of chemo every 3 weeks to shrink the tumour before a lumpectomy. This is so i can have a lumpectomy with minimal scarring and less loss of breast tissue. I can opt for surgery first but means more breast tissue will have to be taken out meaning my breast will then be smaller in size! This might be the reason in your case. I’d ask your bcn if any concerns x

Thanks blueash, did you have the chemo first? I can’t get it out of my mind that they are doing it this way in case it’s spread already.

Thank you again blueash and for telling me your story. This forum is such a wonderful place! It does help me so much to hear. I think because I lost my sister to bc I feel so negative at times. Thank you also for all the information you gave me on the other thread. Do the doctors recommend them? And as for the price to pay, I will gladly pay it a hundred times over. Everyone’s so supportive here. Xx

I am having chemo first too, I have 2 tumours the largest being 2.5cm, grade 2 with cells in 1 lymph node, waiting for Herceptin results. Surgery then Radio, and pills for 5 years. My surgeon said she’s doing it this way round to shrink the tumours so fingers crossed will only have to have lumpectomy, as they are ideally situated, the way I see it is get the crappy chemo out of the way first, so then all the other stuff hopefully will be a bit easier. I have an MRI booked for tomorrow but only on the affected area, and chemo assessment on Wednesday, try not to worry too much as your wellbeing is the teams priority and they are obviously doing it for the best reasons.
Sending hugs your way

Thanks everyone, it’s so hard not too worry isn’t? Firstly it’s the shock of being told you have cancer then the waiting to find out more. I guess I was hoping to be told it was early and easily treated. Still waiting for treatment to start and just imagine it’s getting worse and spreading everyday. Never thought I’d be eager for chemo! Xx

Hi, I have been to my consultant today to get my treatment plan. They have decided to try chemo first with me too followed by surgery. I am meeting the oncologist tomorrow to discuss chemo and when it will start xx

Hi, I saw my consultant on Thursday and he told me the shocking news that I have grade 3 aggressive BC, negative for both oestrogen and progestorone but HER2 results aren’t back yet. He told me to be prepared to be triple negative :frowning: so I am seeing the oncologist next Tuesday, plan is to have a CT then start 6 cycles of FEC chemo, with herceptin if I’m HER2 positive. Absolutely bloody terrified but reading all the posts here and in the triple negative warriors FB page give me lots of hope. Xxx

Good luck Annie and Skye, please let me know how you get on xxx