I have read lots of threads about shrinking tumours, but I am really worried that mine hasent!
It is 8 - 10cms in size and still feels the same! I have seen two different consultants - which does not help, and neither of them could not tell me if there was on any change! got 3rd FEC next week and seeing my consultant(probably a different one) the day before… I get really annoyed as no one can give me a straight answer! If they dont know why cant they just say so! getting quite stressed as I feel that if I have gone through this chemo and there is now change - well I dont know how I will cope! I am large so I would have thought it would not been to difficult to tell! 34F but my boob with the tumour is a G thanks to the lump…

Sorry for rambling on! just needed to let off some steam!

Cyber hugs to all


Hi Mel

If you feel it would help to talk this over with one of our helpliners this morning please do feel free to give them a call. The line opens at 9am and is open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 9am-2pm on 0808 800 6000, the team includes specialist nurses who will be able to discuss this with you, look at your options and what to do next.

Best wishes

Breast Cancer Care

Hi Mel

I have just finished 8 sessions of chemo on the NeoTango trial (4 x Taxol + 4 x EC). My tumour was 2cms with another 2 cms of ‘suspicious’ calcification around it. After the first 4 lots of Taxol the tumour had shrunk by 6mm but no further shrinkage when I was checked again last week at the end of the EC. I too had read that in some women this course of treatment resulted in the tumours shrinking much more or disappearing completely, so I was disappointed that mine hadn’t done the same. However, we are all different and our tumours are different, so perhaps we are just a little unlucky in this respect - maybe we will be more fortunate in other ways, let’s hope so!

When I asked them if the last 4 lots of EC had been a waste of time because the tumour had not shrunk any further (which incidentally were really horrible for me, mainly the nausea), they told me that at least the tumour hadn’t grown any more - true - and that the chemo should still have been killing cancer cells. You may find that it is too early for you to notice much change after only 2 sessions and by a physical examination alone.

HOw many chemo sessions are you having? Are you having any other drugs as well as FEC?

I know it is frustrating. If you are any thing like me you are used to being in control and this disease and the treatment is effectively out of your control, there is little you can do yourself to effect the outcome other than look after yourself as best you can.

I am going into hospital tomorrow morning (Saturday) for a modified radical mastectomy and not looking forward to it. Even though the tumour has shrunk it is in the centre of my breast and close to the skin so my nipple has been affected too. There really wasn’t much chance of a lumpectomy even if it had shrunk much more due to where it was in my breast and the fact that I do not have such large breasts to start with (36D).

Needless to say, I am getting quite nervous about tomorrow now. I know it has to be done and my breast has been aching again so the sooner it goes the better, but I am not looking forward to it. I am told that I have got the worst over after getting through the chemo, but it doesn’t feel like that at the moment.


Hi Sue

Im supposed to go for 6 FEC but they have not mentioned any other treatments since very first consultation - mentioned Taxotere!
I am usually a control freak so yes this has really thrown me - not being in conrol…
|I know that I will eventaully have the mastectomy as my lump also involves my nipple and because of the size plus DCIS around it also.
I can only imagine how you feel as I would be the same - that thought of not being control again and the not knowing!

I Hope all goes well for you and you recover quickly - you are getting closer to the end!!!
Please let me know how you get on and not being personel but what it was like - as I am so worried about that bit!
Take Care.

Sending you BIG cyber hugs & wishes
Fingers crossed


Hi Mel

Its me … well I feel the same as you, cos when I feel my lump in my right breast, it feels the same as it did and you know I have now had 3 FEC. Supposed to be having ultrasound, as onc said last week, but as yet, not heard a dickie bird. Makes me really worried, cos if the lump in boob isn’t shrinking, what is happening in my liver and any other stupid rogue cells. Although no idea of size and grade of mine.

Know how you mean about worrying though, this is a vicious circle … think will try and find out when this ultrasound is supposed to be happening!!

Take care and catch up later

Hi Mel, Sue and Dawn
My onc said that it was too soon to tell at FEC 3 whether the tumour was shrinking - he was only looking to check that it wasn’t getting any bigger at that point. In fact, the best check seemed to be that the lump felt softer at that point. I was lucky and did get a really good response to the chemo. I don’t think there’s much choice than to hang on in there for the time being. Not easy, i know.
Sue, will send you positive thoughts tomorrow. I too still had to have a mastectomy because of the location of the tumour - I’m a B cup (but really an A!). It took me a long time to get my head round it, but I’m OK with it now. Husband is amazed that I’ve now changed my mind completely about wanting a reconstruction - just want to go with it and see how i get on. Hope all goes OK for you - isn’t it just horrible having to go in for surgery when you’re actually feelign OK?
Love to all
Sarah XXX

my sister had 2 AC chemo treatments and felt her lump was slightly bigger, she had a ultrasound and the scan showed it the same size. the oncologist changed her straight to taxotere, she had 4 of these. Another scan then showed shrinkage from 3.9cm to 2.8cms. She had a lumpectomy - no clear margins and then a mastectomy . the surgeon said the tumour was in fact bigger than it showed on the scan although it had changed in appearance. I have read this before. The breast care nurse told my sister that without chemo her cancer would have been getting bigger as it was a grade 3. So it was working and worth persevering with. GOOD luck to you and i am sure your oncologist would change your treatment if he thought it would be of more benefit to you .

Ive decided that worrying about it is not going to work!
So I am living life to the full!
What will be will be…
Im enjoying being with my OH and the kids…
We are of to the seaside today - so weather better stay nice…
What we are all going through is a real bummer! But I cant sit and let my life go by I must do something.
Im holding a big BC charity event on the 27th Oct so I am hoping that I will be ok for that then I got a BC coffe morning the week after…
So I am trying to keep myself busy and active as much as my body will allow it.

I am sending cyber hugs and kisses to all who are going through the same…



Hi Mel

I am so pleased you are feeling more positive and what a wonderful end to your message, Thank You. I hope you and your family have/had an absolutely brilliant time at the seaside today. Hoping weather stays good for you and if not you have fun in the rain!!. Good luck with your BC event in October.

You take care

Lots of love


Can I just throw in that - Yes mine has shrunk, but I am triple negative, and these do apparently respond better to chemo - but I imagine alot of you out there will also have the benefit of the hormone drugs which are not available to us…swings and roundabouts and all that…
Try not to stress too much - Mel you already sound better!!!

Love and hugs

HI Mel, Dawn and Sarah

Here I am, home from hospital within the 48 hours that my surgeon predicted. I had my mastectomy and ancillary clearance on Saturday lunchtime and came home today with just one drain in. The District Nurse will call each day to check on me and I have my antibiotics to take at home. I feel great - I can;t quite believe it. I think the thought of the operation was much worse than the reality of it. My breats had been aching again like it did before I knew what was wrong with it and I really just wanted to get rid of it. My surgeon and breats cancer nurse were brilliant, extremely supportive and gave me very clear answers to my questions. I did get a bit tearful and sorry for myself just as I went into the anaesthesia room but got a hug from my surgeon and reassurance that I was doing the right thing for me.

I woke up later and apart from feeling a bit sleepy I was fine. I had some pain killers that night on the recommendation of the nurse in case I turned over in my sleep but haven’t needed anything else since. I have done my exercises and been a personal trainer to the lady across from me who had the same op.

My bcn helped me and hubby choose the right size of ‘comfie’ to stuff down my t shirt to come out of hospital with and I looked just like I did when I walked in there on Saturday morning (apart from my little Miss Muffett bag with my drain in). Absolutely amazing.

One of my best frinds has justcalled and can’t believe it either. She says she feels almost cheated, she had been practising her best sad expression for me and she hasn’t needed it. So, doesn’t look like I am going to get much sympathy as I am looking so well - but still pretty bald!!!

So, all in all not nearly as bad as I expected, perhaps I have just been lucky.

Incidentally, I asked the surgoen what ‘it’ looked like when he was operating and he told me that the dissection of the breast tissue was more difficult than normal as the chemo had attacked the tissues so well that there had been a lot of fibrosis that made the tissue much denser and solid to deal with but that, that was a good sign. I should get the lab results sometime next week so fingers crossed all those nasty little cancer cells have been zapped.

I hope this helps. I know that I read other upbeat messages like this when I was in the midst of my chemo and waiting for my op with a bit of ‘its alright for you’ sort of thing, but truly, it has been alright for me too so far.

I am confident it will be for all of you too.

Love Sue X

Hi Sue,

Thank Oh Thank You sound so up beat and I am so so pleased that it all went well and that you feel well (I hope this continues for you)

I cant believe that you were in for only 48hrs… wow…

My fingers are croosed for you and my toes for your results - all you need now is to recover well, fab results then ZAP them little buggas once and forall…

I have cheered up alittle knowing that there is hope.oh just one more question sorry will you have reconstruction?

Thanks again

Thinking of you

HI Mel

Not sure about reconstruction yet. My surgeon said I should wait six months to let everything settle down and then he would refer me to a brilliant lady surgeon in Manchester. So, at this moment in time I don’t know. Although I have come out of this surgery feeling well and relieved, I have not enjoyed being in hospital. I am a great believer in only having ops if you really need them - all this stuff on 10 Years Younger and women having breast augmentations etc leaves me cold. So, I am not sure yet.

I am 47 and after all I have been through - the bald head, the bloated stomach, no eyebrows/eyelashes etc - I still feel attactive, even with just one breast. My hair started to grow back just before my last chemo, as did my eyebrow and eyelashes. I had a night out the week before my surgery and put my wig and make up on and really made an effort and I looked almost as good as I did before, so no worries. Mind you I have a wonderful husband who gives me so much love and support that I cannt really fail. I am no great beauty but I try to make the mst of what I have and I feel grat inside, so that is what really matters.

I may feel different about the reconstruction surgery once I know that I have the all clear. Until then I think I may leave well alone. But that’s just me.

Sue X

Hi Sue,

I’ve thought long and hard about this. Im pretty big 34F! and like you ops are for only if you really really need them (already had two ceasareans)
but I must say I’m 34 and my boobs do mean alot to me! but if it means a chance to get rid of this awlful disease then i have requested that they remove both as
I dont want the risk of it coming back - as for recon like you Im not sure! but I probably will!

Im glad you are feeling well
Keep smiling.


Hi Mel

If I think back to how I was at your age I am pretty sure that I would probably have wanted to go for reconstruction. I know it sounds a bit trite, and I promise I haven’t come over all evagelical or anything because of all this, but I have so many good things in my life that I am wary about doing anything that might upset things. Once I have got over all the emotional side of what has happened to me over the last five months and come to terms with it all properly (even now it still feels a bit like a dream I am going to wake up from) I may feel very differently and want a reconstruction. Probably as much as anything because it will save messing about with the prosethis - I am a busy girl and the less fussing around the better for me.

I don’t think I will give reconstruction serious consideration until I know/or feel that I am well on the way to being clear of this horrible disease. It is very much a personal decision for all of us and at least the health professionals are happy for us to take our time and decide when and what we want to do.

Hope you are feling okay today.

Sue X

Hi Sue,

Im feeling a little restless today! Worried that my bloods will be low again (got them tomorrow) plus I have oncologist and I know that I should not worry but you cant help it! My boob started to hurt yesterday and is still today! It feels like how it did when I first found it, hot and very tender. So a little more apprehensive about tomorrows appointments!!!

As for the reconstruction I may feel different about it when it comes to it!

I hope that you are still recovering well.


Hi Mel

Just to send you a cyberhug, and sympathy. I have bloods and the onc tomorrow as well so will be thinking of you. Will let you know later how the makeup session goes today. Might stun the onc by turnng up looking glamorous for once (ho ho)

Lots of love


Hi Mel

Just wanted to wish you well with your bloods tomorrow and hope that everything goes OK and you get the go ahead for chemo on Thursday - then you will be half way through. Make sure you write your questions for the onc down, as once in there probably forget everything. Hope it all goes well though and your boob starts to feel better soon. Keeping everything crossed for you.

Take care and lots of love

I have now had second FEC and constantly try to feel whether it has shrunk. I saw a different ONC last week who admitted manual measurements vary from person to person, so who knows.

Everything feels a bit scary just now, and despite my big list of questions last week, i have no information to make me feel better.

It appears that my local path lab don’t do many tests on the core biopsy unless you are not having surgery, something about false negatives. So i don’t know my grade, type or HER status and wont until at least January.

I wish that we could have some agreement throughout the country on what is best practice as all the differing practices is driving me mad.

I have tried not to think about it and just get on with things, but there are times when even the kids can’t provide enough of a distraction.

Anyway i will try hard not to estimate my lump size for at least half a day.

Thoughts to all.

Lesley x

Hi Lesley,

I know how you feel. I find myself vonstantly checking, sometimes I do it with out even knowing. Its like I need to keep checking that its still there and that this is really happening to me!

I have seen three different oncs and it will probably be 4 after next appointment which is tomorrow. i have also wrote a list of questions - so lets see what happens…
I had 12 core biopsys and 2 lymph node biopsys! they told me my grade (3) said that I wont know about HER till the op…

Trying to keep busy but the best drugs at the moment are my kids OH and this site!

Keep smiling
Take care