Will I need chemo????


I have BC invasive ductal. My mass is an inch or so located in my left breast, upper outer aspect. I go in Friday to have a mastectomy and complete lymph node clearence. The ultrasound showed no evidence of any masses in the lymph nodes. The path report is ES PR+ and Her2 2+ and grade 2, that is all I know right now. I hate waiting waiting around and not knowing things. I like to be prepaired and if I need to start getting wigs and scarves. Not knowing what will be next is making me crazy!

Thanks Stacie

Hi Stacie

Sorry you have found your self here. When is your next appointment? I would have thought they will tell you then what your treatment plan is. It seems to be different from place to place. This is the worst part you are at, waiting for answers and a treatment plan. Things do get easier once you know what that is You will find so much support on here just ask. Maybe someone else will know more if you will have chemo.

Lots of love

Jayne xxxx

Hi Stacie, you reslly need to ask your consultant about chemo, but I have a suspicion you will need it. You will have a little time to prepare - I gather they like allowing you some time to recover from surgery before starting chemo.


Hi slc1967 and welcome to the BCC discussion forums, there’s lots of good support on this site for you.

Below I have put for you the link to one of BCC’s publications you may find helpful - Understanding your Pathology Report. Also if you need to talk to someone in confidence, about anything you may wish to ask, then please give the helpline here a call, the staff are here to support you through this. Calls are free, 0808 800 6000.


Hope this helps. Take care,
Jo, Facilitator

Hello Stacie

From my experience and also read lots - it seems usual that a treatment plan isnt done till after the operation - the best test results come from those done on the tissue removed during the op and sometimes these results are slightly different to those from any biopsies done. The path lab tests done on tissue removed in the op are very thorough and of course they should have removed all the diseased bits, so get an accurate picture of state of those cells - they call it staging .

At that point they will decide the best treatment plan. Those path lab reports usually take 2 weeks , so you usually get given a date for appointment with Consultant when he/she explains the path report (which you can ask for a copy of - I did), on the day of surgery. Many will say - take someone with you to that appt, I found my brain froze, and memory didnt work properly. Can also ask them to write the essential things down for you, and for a copy of the letter that goes to your GP - unless you are sure they do that routinely or you dont want it.

I’m now on chemo , after hormone treatment for 3 months , then had some surgery. Chemo usually starts 4 - 6 weeks after surgery (so much healing has taken place), if it is needed. after that a 4 week respite to recover , then the radiotherapy starts. ( Nearly everyone, if not all, have ‘rads’ , on the breast or chest wall after surgery , as ‘belt and braces’ to treat any cancer cells left behind).

Having said that , treatment is decided on for each individual, and we all have different types of cancer cells, at different stages.

One piece of helpful info you will often hear, and now I’m saying it too having got this far - best thing is to take it one step at a time, or at least a couple of steps at a time , I’m like you - hate being unprepared, but it does help reduce the stress levels if concentrate on the challenge that today presents , sort it, then relax and enjoy the day. Easier said than done !! Wishing you an easy ride. With Best Wishes Kirsty

Sorry you’ve had to join us - but we’re a really friendly lot of people!!

Can’t really add much to above - I think th erule of thumb is that if there’s lymph infection (which might be the case with you having axill aclearance then they chemo, but as I said this seems to be rule of thumb - the oncologists do know what they’re doing and why, even if not all are great at explaining without being pushed a bit, so its worth taking someone with you to see them.

If you do have to have chemo, best advice I was given was simple but so true - ‘Expect anything and Plan nothing’ - that way you won’t be surprised or disappointed!