Scan results

Had 3 FEC so far and had scan today. No bigger, but no smaller! Feeling really down tonight, thinking I should have opted for surgery first.

Hi Twizzy

I’m sorry to read that you’re feeling down at the moment. I’m sure some of the others users will be along soon to support you.

In the meantime maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator

So sorry to heat that you are feeling down. It is so hard when you feel you don’t see much progress. I too had little result from (F)EC.
They will usually switch to docetaxol if they feel the tumour is not shrinking. They did this for me and the lump although not reduced felt squashier and softer. I am assuming that is what they will do for you too.
the good thing about having neo-adjuvant chemo is that it can be seen how well/not well it is working. With surgery first and chemo to follow that is not always the case. I had chemo 1st and surgery to follow and I am glad I did.
Also, I was told that imaging on MRI does not always correlate to exactly what is going on with the lump. Seeing and palapting are just as important. It could be that your lump is becoming less dense and that is a good thing!
This bc lark will show you many ups and downs. the rollercoaster. Be prepared for that. That is partly why it is so exhausting. there feels at times to be unbearable amounts of uncertainty and I think that’s what you are experiencing now.
But hold on and take small steps (that’s what I did) Otherwise it is simply overwhelming…
Post when you feel down, some one will help.

WSX what comforting words. I’m just about to start FEC-T with a review (imaging) after the first 3 and since my endocrine therapy didn’t do what we expected I am as not hopeful as I would like to be. But the way you put it about seeing how well it’s working- that confirms me in my choice (and the CS’s too) not to go for MX earlier. Thanks. I value these threads!

Thank you all, I am going to discuss with my oncologist, yes Doxatel starts next Tuesday for 3 cycles, it sure is a bumpy ride! I

Hi Twizzy,

My MRI showed the same thing, I was told yesterday - after 3 cycles of AC, no change in size (although a reduction in enhancement which is apparently some sign that there has been some small effect). Very disheartened now, plus scared about whether chemo is/will have an effect on the rest of my body. Particularly disappointed because the onc had previously told me he was fairly sure it was shrinking based on palpation. He now says it must have been a reduction in bruising after the biopsy, which was not long before he first examined me. Switching to Docetaxel from Wednesday.

How has Tax worked for you?

I was glad to hear Docetaxel worked for you when FEC didn’t, Wintersocks. I know that if I had chemo second I would never have known how it was working, but to know it isn’t working as well as it does for some people seems worse.

Is it common for T to work when AC or FEC doesn’t? (I’m ER+ by the way.) In need of inspiration!

Hi fimbo
Scans are not always accurate. I had an ultrasound after my 5th chemo (3 fec 3 tax) which indicated my tumour had shrunk from 22mm to 19 mm- ie not much. On the day of surgery I had a sizeable lump still but the post mast pathology showed no invasive tumour and 8 mm of dcis.
I was also strongly er positive.

It may be that chemo is working better than the scans indicate. Good luck with the rest of your treatment xx


I am nearly a year post chemo, i think my last was August the 6th. I did go on to have Tax, and indeed had 4 goes rather than the usual 3. My BS asked if I felt I could manage an extra as she wanted to shrink the lump right down.
It became ‘squashier’, less’ hard’ and my BS decided I had had an ‘excellent reponse’. She was very reluctant to rely entirely on what scans said, she placed a great emphasis on palpation.
However, my onc was of a differing opinion. she felt the response was ‘moderate’ However, the onc did not palpate the lump on my 1st presentation to her as I was too distraught to let her!! As you will no doubt come to see, this is the ‘roller coaster’ that bc ladies speak of; a bit of good news, then a bit of not so good news. again I don’t think that is unusual! I know it is disheartening when you feel you are not doing so well as others. But there are many highs and lows in this game, you are just finding that out. So hang onto the ‘good’ when you can.

I felt that Tax had was much more effective for me, I have heard others say this too. I Have also heard that chemo does not work as well on the more ‘sluggish’ grade 2 cancers, but is more effective on grade 3. For me it remained the right decision to chemo 1st.
Trouble is we hear so much contradictory stuff it is hard to know what to believe sometimes.
I do not post on here often now, but I am willing to help, if you think it might help. So please don’t hesitate if you want to ask anyrthing.
I had mx and radiotherapy. I am highly er 8/8 and on letrozole.
Hold on! - one step at a time.

Thank you Wintersocks and Sukiem. This gives me some hope that Tax might work for me too. I have to say my onc said it was not bad news yet. However, I feel that this was the first opportunity to get any “good” news and I really could have done with it. The worry about neo-adjuvant chemo is that there can be more bad news to come after surgery, ie I don’t know how many nodes are involved yet and worry about that (I know more than one is enlarged). It is easy for me to fear the worst but you are right, I have to hang on in there.

Thanks again for your help - I hope you are doing ok now?