Shrinking my Tumor

Hello i have had 4 fec and 2 tax. To try and shrinkage my tumor but it doesn’t seem to be shrinking. Has this happened to any of you. What happened with your sugery. I am due to have a lumpectomy i don’t think i will now. Thanks very much

I also had chemo first to try to shrink the tumour. My went from 4.4cm to 1.8 cm. My oncologist didn’t seem too bothered that the tumour had shrunk more But they did recommend a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy. The odd thing was on the MRI scan the tumour seemed to have shrunk to nothing but it wasn’t until after I had the mastectomy and received the pathology report that I found out there was still a sizeable amount of tumour present. What has your onc said about how effective twe chemo has been?

I had my chemo first. (3 FEC and 4 Tax) The tumour seemed to have grown a little, rather than shrunk, and we were going to stop early and go straight to surgery. I actually had to have Mx because this was my second primary. When they did the biopsy, they found the tumour had almost completely died, leaving a dead mass of tissue with two tiny focal points.

Hi Shaz

I had chemo before surgery too. After my 5th chemo I had an ultrasound which indicated my tumour had shrunk only by 6 mm to 2cm.

Unexpectedly my final pathology after mastectomy showed no invasive tumour left and a tiny bit of DCIS. I think as with mateface’s experience it’s not always easy to tell how chemo’s working from scans.

I had a mastectomy as my lump always measured more clinically than on all the scans and they didn’t know how big it actually was. I had a skin sparing mastectomy and immediate recon.

Good luck with the rest of your treatment

Hi Shaz you didn’t say what the grade of tumour you had?
I was Dx initially with a small 9mm tumour via mammo and u/s. After a MRI it was said to be 4.2cm and due to a cancerous node was said to be Grade 1.
Given that the site of the tumour and the fact that it was multi-focal I had neo-adjuvant chemo to try to shrink the tumour 3 chemos later and a MRI showed no change,3 more chemos and another MRI still no change. Then the MDT decided ( a rather controversial decision) according to my BCN I should have WLE then needed a 2nd WLE, BUT the pathology showed that the chemo had indeed worked.I had been told I might need 3 more chemos after surgery but due to the histology did not need this
So I wonder how has your info been decide upon?
So very difficult like working in the dark
Regards J xx

Hi Shaz I had primary chemo last year. Prior to chemo I had a coil marker inserted. I was told that “the chemo will shrink the tumour down to nothing hopefully and the coil will show up on the scans, so when they go in they will just scrape up the remaining cells.”. On initial dx my tumour measured 2.3cm. My cancer is now graded Grade 3 and is highly ER positive.
I haven’t had much luck in my situation, scans at the end of chemo seemed to indicate it had shrunk to 1.2 cm (yay - much celebration!) but we discovered at WLE stage that the coil marker had split the tumour in half - one bit stayed where it was (1.2 cm) and the other bit travelled off 2cm away and was therefore not picked up by sonographers (who didn’t bother to look anywhere else than the primary site). This bit was 1cm big. So as you can see, not much happened in the way of shrinkage. My consultant said I was very unusual and he had never seen this happen before.
Suffice to say several months and a couple of surgeries later I am now booked to go in for a mastecomy and recon in May (more tumours, multi-focal, and more high grade DCIS).
You don’t say what grade / stage your cancer is. Is it ER positive.? Some ER positive tumours do not respond as well to chemo as they do to hormone therapy - so this may be another option for you if yours is hormone receptor positive. I would agree that scans can indicate whats going on to an extent but it is only really when they get in surgically can they get a really good and accurate picture. I think you need to question both your surgeon and onc at your next appointment. They will only do a mastecomy if they feel it is absolutely necessary.
I really was worried about having a mastectomy and was happy when we went down the WLE route (I also had full axilla clearance as positive in lymph nodes). I had another lot of surgery as we didn’t get clear margins first time round. Again we did not achieve clear margins. I just want to get the blasted thing off now and get on with my life. Hindsight is a wonderful thing - I think all the consultants would have suggested an mx first thing had they known how things would turn out. It is very difficult. They try to do the least invasive procedures and what is best for you. So hopefully they will review your case really carefully before any surgical decision is made.
I hope you get the answers you are looking for and wish you well with whatever procedure you have next.
Em x

Hi Shaz - I had 6 FEC to shrink the grade 2 ER+ lump before surgery, but the chemo had hardly any effect at all on its size (26mm down to 23mm).
It did, however, kill the cancer cells. I think it was because it turned out I had so few cancer cells in the lump (7% proliferation) - but they only knew that after it was removed.
I still had the lumpectomy, it was just a larger lump than they’d hoped it would be by then.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do!