tumour shrinking??

Hi Everyone

I’ve just started chemo and I was wondering if anyone has had experience of having scans during chemo to see if the tumour has shrunk? Just wondering if they do shrink and how much?



Hi Hannah,

I finished chemo at the end of July, I was on the Neo-Tango trial (4xEC, 4xPaclitaxol & Gemcitabine).
During the cyles I had a couple of scans and they showed that the tumour was shrinking. After my last cycle I had another scan and the radiographer could not find the tumour, it had disappeared!!!
Last week I had a Wide Local Excision and Node Clearance to remove the damaged tissue. Just awaiting the results now and hoping for clear margins!

Hope this helps!


I had treatment other way around - surgery/node clearance first chemo second but a friend of mine is doing chemo first. She has had three rounds of chemo (EC) and her tumour definitely shrunk - she was absolutely relieved because she felt quite pessimistic about it having any effect but now she is feeling a whole lot more positive about her chemo and the fact that it should help reduce the extent of surgery that she will need at the end of chemo. Well done Janette and fingers crossed that all your news is good. Hannah - hang in there, chemo is no fun but good chance that it will help and also I think it is possible to alter the drug combo to optimize the outcome so speak to your doc about that if it helps. Let us know how it goes.

thinking of you,


I am having 6xFEC with the last one this Thursday. My lump was originally 5cm and from ultrasound measurement, it had shrunk by 75% after 3 cycles. It started shrinking after the first one. My surgeon examined me last Thursday to discuss surgery options and he was unable to feel it at all. I go in on 2nd October for wide excision and level 2 clearance of nodes (about 12)

Hope you have success too.

Sharon x

Hi Hannah
Didnt have scans - just examination by oncologist and you could feel the tumour shrinking. Just had mastectomy and results today show that tumour had shrunk from estimated 8 cm to 2.2 cm, a remarkable response. I had 6xFEC.

hi hannah ,
I am on the same chemo as janette my tumour measured 2.5 cm before treatment after the 2nd chemo it had reduced by 0.75cm, i am halfway through my chemo i have had 4 , and my tumour was measured after 2,i see my specialist tomorow to discuss my surgery options and i will have a scan to see if it has shrunk further so i am keping everything crossed,
fantastic news janette
!! hope u are managing your chemo ok how many have you had?
love galen

Hi Hannah,

I had good results on chemo MMM. My tumour was 5cm and it had noticably shrunk by day 10 of the first cycle. After 4 it was not traceable. It was a long time ago now - 17 years and the chemo was followed with 35 sessions of rads and no surgery.


Hi There

I am having 6 AC chemos and will have an ultrasound scan after 3rd lot to check for shrinkage. If it has not shrunk they will change drugs slightly and if it has shrunk a lot they will put in markers so they know exactly where to excise (have heard of peoples disappearing and they end up having to have mastectomy after all) - which is not the aim I have in mind!

hugs to all

I am having 3x FEC (third one this Friday) then I have an MRI scan…check for shrinkage - then either 3x or 6x taxotere (depending on response) but I did have a check up by Doctor just before my 2nd FEC and she thought it had shrunk by prob 1cm (was originally 6cm). I am chuffed that it might have shrunk by 1cm after just 1 dose of FEC, and I know Tax is more powerful, so bring it on…I can also notice the difference myself, it feels smaller and softer so that’s a great boost psychologically.
I think it still means a mastectomy for me unfortunately - but I think I will feel less worried about recurrences that way.

Anyway I wish you luck and may yours and everyone elses shrivel up and die!!!


Hi Hannah

By what all the other girls are saying it looks like chemo does help shrink tumours, I know you just want to know it is working and get things going the waiting is hard.

I am on the same as Janetter and Galen so thank you to you both as just started having chemo and this has given me a great boost. So glad for you both and everyone else on here who the chemo is killing the little ba****ds for us.

I don’t know Hannah if scans are given during chemo as standard/normal? Wouldn’t mind knowing myself, sorry I can’t help you there. But as said listening to the others it looks positive. Everyone on this site will help you as much as they can I know they have me.

Please take care of yourself and I truly wish you well with the chemo and that it works for you.



I’m on Neo-tango (4x pac & gem, 4x EC) and got a scan halfway through, my tumours had completely disappeared and my enlarged lymph node was back to normal.

Good luck with your treatment.


Thanks everyone

Its really good to hear everyone’s ‘tumour shrinking stories’! So encouraging and makes it all worth while. I had my 2nd AC yesterday, due 4xAC and 4xTaxol two weekly. My Oncologist said she’d do a scan halfway through the regime and she examined me yesterday.

The primary tumour in my breast is really hard to feel as only 18mm but the lymph nodes under my arm were huge, the largest measuring 4x5cm before treatment but yesterday she feels they’ve shrunk to 2x3cm!!! Fantastic news, really good to know the chemo is working as its such horrible stuff to put in your body!

I’m getting a marker coil put in primary tumour on Monday and dreading it as its supposed to be like the biopsy and that was horrible. Looks like I’ll need this coil though as this rate!!

Thanks and here’s to shrinking and killing the little b*****rds!!

roll on chemo no 3!



Having the marker coil in is not as bad as the biopsy - so go in there feeling confident!

I have my last FEC in an hour’s time - hurray!!

Sharon x

I had 4 x fortnightly PAC-GEM to start with (Neotango) and am into EC now.

At the halfway point:

The lump that was 5x4cm is now 2.6 x 1.5 x 0.7 (a weird shape) and

The lump that was 3.5x2.5cm is now 1.4 x 1.3 x 1.2 (kinda more like you’d expect)

…so about 50pc down in each direction.


Sorry to impose on this one - I just wanted to let you know how helpful all of your comments are on here. My Mum has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and had been given the option of chemo before surgery in order to shrink the tumour. What with all of this being such a shock to us both I wondered if it was all bad news and would it really help but this is all so encouraging and I am SO pleased for everyone. I really hope you have lots more good news. Tonight we have an appointment of the scan to see if it has spread and to find out when chemo will start which is scaring me like anything, but at least I can take the encouragement of your stories with me.

Good luck to everyone.

Hi Michelle

Sorry to hear about your Mom, but pleased you have found the info on here useful and encouraging. Fingers crossed for the scans. I hope you keep using this site as it is so useful and everyone is so understanding no matter what. You can scream, shout, cry, laugh whatever on here. Hopefully you and your Mom will benefit from this.

You both take care