Hormone treatment before surgery. Anyone else offered this??

hi all. Firstly, I must say how it helps to read these posts and realise I am not the only one going through all this!

I first posted this in the ’ welcome’ forum but it was suggested I might get more response here.

I was recently diagnosed with lobular cancer of my right breast. The tumour is classed as medium sized and ultrasound and MRI have shown no likely spread to my lymph nodes. I am 48.

I have been offered full or partial mastectomy or hormone treatment to shrink the tumour then (hopefully) a lumpectomy. This hormone route sounds tempting to me if it saves major surgery, but I can’t find out too much about it. I am seeing an oncologist next Friday when I know I will find out more, but I am impatient! Has anyone else on here followed this route? If so, how did it go? Did the tumour shrink?

Thanks for reading, and good luck everyone with beating this thing.

Hi there

I had hormone therapy for six months before surgery as I was unwell from an unrelated illness, to have surgery at the time. While it didn’t shrink the tumour, it did stop it growing and altered the structure so it wasn’t able to spread as fast. Mine was lobular cancer too, so perhaps this type responds well too it, I had a lumpectomy which unfortunately didn’t have clear margins so ended up with a mastectomy with reconstruction. I was prescribed Letrozole which I read is the best one for lobular cancer, and while it did have side effects, they weren’t too bad. Stopped them while on chemo but will have to take them for the next five years.

Good luck

I also had hormone therapy prior to my mastectomy -  but this was because I delayed my surgery by a month - with the full blessing of my surgeon - to go on hoilday to Cuba!! As my tumours were hormone positive it was seen as a way of starting treatment prior to the surgery and this has stopped during my chemo but then will be back on it again for 5 years afterwards. At least your oncologist should be able toanswer these questions and not long to waitbut seems like forever.


Hi Chris, I was diagnosed with lobular cancer, very sensitive to oestrogen, in February, unfortunately it was a large tumour and it was felt clear margins could not be achieved with surgery. I started on letrozole (and Zoladex as not post-menopausal) in March with a plan to take it for 3-6 months to give better outcome with surgery. I have had a really good response, repeat biopsy after just 3weeks showed big drop in rate of cell growth and repeat MRI after 3 months showed it had shrunk considerably. The plan is to continue for a further 3months then have mastectomy. I feel really well, no real side effects apart from hair loss which started after about 3 months. It feels a bit strange - life changing diagnosis, but just a tiny daily tablet is making a significant improvement. I feel it has given me breathing space and time to come to terms with diagnosis and plan for next steps in treatment. The other positive is that I know the treatment is working as there are visible and measurable changes.
Good luck with your treatment whatever route you go down,

Hi Caffy

Just seen your post re therapeutic mammoplasty…I had this - assuming you mean bilateral! - I am so pleased with the results as I now have much smaller (more manageable) breasts…this was followed by rads and hormone therapy with minimal fuss.

Hope all goes well.