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All TopicsForum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After → Topic: Shrinking tumor?

Topic: Shrinking tumor?

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Jan 22, 2010 12:01PM

mom2Bnegativex3 wrote:

Hello all and thank you for reading. I HAD  a 3 cm tumor TN budding up to the chest wall. I have only had one treatment of a DD of AC. My question is I feel it occasionally and today I hardly can feel it during a self breast exam. My question is, will I still get all of my treatments? Will they still to a Masctomy? they won't do a lumpactomy 'cause there is nothing there? I am not forsure why they chose to do chemo first rather then surgery but I was just wondering if anyone had any experiecnes with it totally shrinking and if you got out of extra treatments or they just gave you all of them still. Or if yours just partially shrunk? Thanks a lot!!

Dx 11/23/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 22, 2010 01:05PM Laurie09 wrote:

I think you will still get all your treatments. 

I had chemo before surgery as well, and after 1 treatment my tumor had shrunk a lot.  By the time my chemo was done, my original tumor was gone completely but i still had a mastectomy.  On the postop pathology report, I still had some cells in my lymph nodes, so we then radiated my lymph node beds.

I can't imagine they wouldn't give you all the chemotherapy you were prescribed initially since the reason to give chemo is to try to kill any rogue cells that could have gone to other places in the body even if there's no sign of spread.   It's a good sign that it's shrinking so rapidly - that means it's very responsive to the treatment! 

Laurie Dx 2/20/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 7/12 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/11/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 8/27/2009 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 10/4/2009 Hormonal Therapy 11/4/2009
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Jan 22, 2010 01:24PM mom2Bnegativex3 wrote:

Thank you for your reply, Laurie. They thing I can't figure out either is that I don't even know if my  nodes are envolved. They said they looked good on all of the scans and they feel  of them but I haven't had a biospy of them yet. Thanks again!!

Dx 11/23/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 22, 2010 02:24PM lovetosail wrote:

I also had chemo before surgery.  I had a sentinel node biopsy done before chemo, however, so they could accurately stage the cancer.  It's quite possible that there could have been cancer in the  nodes, but the chemo would remove the cancer cells.  Examination of the nodes post chemo would then (erroneously) result in a "no node involvement" dx. Luckily, my SLN bx (pre chemo) showed no node involvement.

It is GREAT news that your tumor is responding to chemo!!

Dx 10/19/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 23, 2010 07:49AM AnacortesGirl wrote:

That is great that you are responding so quickly to neodjuvant chemo!  It is not unusual for triple negs, such as yourself, to get a complete pathological response so they don't see any tumor when it's time for surgery. 

I'm sure they will continue will all the chemo txs.  As Laurie09 mentions, the chemo continues to affect any rougue cells in the body and anything that may be in the lymph nodes.  I expect that they will perform the sentinel biopsy at the time of surgery to determine if any lymph are affected and if they are, remove them at that time. 

It may also be an option to do a lumpectomy at surgery time after successful neoadjuvant.  But it depends on the location of the tumor in the breast.  I'm not sure if it's an option if the tumor is close to the chest wall.  In my case, it was never an option because I have multiple tumors and all quandrants of the breast are affected.  My neoadjuvant chemo is to kill any rougue cancer, reduce the lymph nodes (they were easy felt and showed on US, MRI and PET) and reduce the tumors so they can get clear margins when it's time for my mastectomy.

I hope your tx continues on this positive path!

Christy - BRCA2+; mets to bones and liver, Taxol/Sutent -> AC, BMX - no recon, Rads, Carboplatin, BSO, Veliparib trial (8/30/13-3/13/14) Dx 7/21/2009, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 14/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2010 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2011 Hormonal Therapy 9/9/2012 Femara (letrozole) Dx 9/9/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/29/2013 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 8/16/2013 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 3/20/2014 Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Jan 23, 2010 04:39PM mom2Bnegativex3 wrote:

Thank you for your reply, AnacortesGirl and lovestosail. They  said all of my scans were great. I just didn't think they would know forsure with out a biospy though. I was just amazed that after just one treatment it would be almost gone. At times I can't even find it. Thanks again, ladies!

Dx 11/23/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 26, 2010 06:00PM 1marmalade1 wrote:

I wish I had been as lucky as you.  I have completed 2 tx of AC, tomorrow was supposed to be #3.

Had an ultrasound this p.m. - Onc said the tumour hasn't shrunk - in fact, he says it appears to have grown 2mm since my first ultrasound in Nov.  They are cancelling the last two AC's, and tomorrow I will start 4T with Neulasta shot the following day.  I'm so sad.  I really thought I would see some shrinkage, but it was not to be.  I guess I got lucky in that I had no AC SE's.  I would rather have had the SE's and a shrunken tumour.  Not looking forward to tomorrow - the whole thing has just depressed me.

Marm Dx 11/11/2009, IDC, 5cm, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 28, 2010 07:31AM AnacortesGirl wrote:

Marm -

I'm so sorry your tumor didn't respond to AC.  But I'm glad they had you go in for a US and were able to get you on to the taxol.  The taxol/sutent combo that I did showed great shrinkage when I had the MRI done at the end of that tx.  Today I go in for my first US after 8 weeks of AC.  I'm a little nervous.  The last couple of weeks I've been checking out my lymph nodes and I can't figure out if it's my imagination or have they started growing again.  Probably my imagination.

Christy - BRCA2+; mets to bones and liver, Taxol/Sutent -> AC, BMX - no recon, Rads, Carboplatin, BSO, Veliparib trial (8/30/13-3/13/14) Dx 7/21/2009, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 14/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2010 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2011 Hormonal Therapy 9/9/2012 Femara (letrozole) Dx 9/9/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/29/2013 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 8/16/2013 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 3/20/2014 Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Jan 28, 2010 11:06AM mom2Bnegativex3 wrote:

I am so sorry to hear that,1Marmalade1. Are you triple negative too? Plese keep me informed and I will be thinking of you! Good luck tommorow too. I hope you get great news.

As for me, If the tumor keeps shrinking like this then I will just have the 4 tx of AC then go in for surgery. Thanks agian ladies for the replies. I wish you all the best.

Dx 11/23/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 30, 2010 05:41AM , edited Jan 30, 2010 05:46AM by 1marmalade1

Ana.Girl - How did you make out yesterday?  Did everything go well?

Mom2B - Believe it or not, I don't know about the Trip. Neg or Pos status - I am HER2+.  There wasn't much else to tell me because I wasn't educated enough at the time to ask the right questions.  I will be getting longer mtg. with onc in a few weeks, and then I want ALL the stats.

Thanks for all your responses, girls.  You're the best!  Thinking high thoughts for all of you.

Marm Dx 11/11/2009, IDC, 5cm, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 30, 2010 08:37AM AnacortesGirl wrote:

It's kind of weird but the US didn't leave me with the good feeling it should have.  The radiologist said he couldn't find any of the tumors and that the lymph nodes look benign to him.  But he didn't have the original US that did see the tumors (that was done at a different clinic).  And he also didn't have the PET or MRI scans.  Guess I should have brought them with me.  There's a possibility that they have shrunk enough that they would be hard to find but that wasn't the feeling I was left with.  This was the same clinic (the hospital in Anacortes) where they did my original mammo that found 3 small calcifications that looked suspicious.  It was a different radiologist that day who came in and talked to me.  She told me that normally she wouldn't be concerned but because of my family history she was offering to send me to the next step of a biopsy.  Thank goodness that radiologist was working that day!  I don't think this other guy would have said a word.  Just a bad feeling about him.

So I'm taking it as nothing is growing or getting worse.  Keep on working through the next 7 weeks and get back down to Seattle to get another MRI and PET.  All these scans can be a pain but it is an advantage to being on a trial and getting the close monitoring.  Makes me feel better.

Christy - BRCA2+; mets to bones and liver, Taxol/Sutent -> AC, BMX - no recon, Rads, Carboplatin, BSO, Veliparib trial (8/30/13-3/13/14) Dx 7/21/2009, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 14/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2010 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2011 Hormonal Therapy 9/9/2012 Femara (letrozole) Dx 9/9/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/29/2013 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 8/16/2013 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 3/20/2014 Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Jan 30, 2010 08:41AM AnacortesGirl wrote:

Marm -

Please let us know what you find out after your next onc appointment.  I understand about not being educated enough to ask the right questions.  That is one reason why I like to bring home copies of all the doc notes and scan results.  I go back over them later and it gives me a chance to think about questions.  They are yours for the asking.  I get copies from the reception desk or from the nurses.

Christy - BRCA2+; mets to bones and liver, Taxol/Sutent -> AC, BMX - no recon, Rads, Carboplatin, BSO, Veliparib trial (8/30/13-3/13/14) Dx 7/21/2009, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 14/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2010 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2011 Hormonal Therapy 9/9/2012 Femara (letrozole) Dx 9/9/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/29/2013 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 8/16/2013 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 3/20/2014 Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Jan 30, 2010 08:44AM 1marmalade1 wrote:

Seems to me we never leave the docs office feeling better, right, Ana.Girl?   I don't even seem to have all the proper stats on my condition - because my onc. is the head of onc. at the hospital I go to, I feel I can TRUST him, but unless I drag info out of him, he doesn't offer any.  Good or bad?  I'm not looking for anything pessimistic, so maybe he feels its safer to wait for me to ask the questions!   We just have to keep trucking, keep our heads up, do all the things everybody tells us to do in an effort to stay upbeat and positive.  Easier said than done, I know, but what alternative is there?  Stay in touch, chickiepoo.  We'll get there.

Marm Dx 11/11/2009, IDC, 5cm, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 30, 2010 09:08AM AnacortesGirl wrote:

I totally agree with everything you said!

I ended up seeing 3 different oncs and I quickly came to the same conclusions.  Until the onc gets to know the patient and is comfortable with how much information they want and how they handle it, it seems they can be very reluctant to say too much.  That's why I keep my reports and always have my notebook with me.  I write down questions and bring them to the visits.  Resulted in some pretty long conversations initially but once they knew I wasn't going to fall apart they started opening up more.  I want to know what I have so I can keep focused on that and not worry about what I don't have.  Can't do that without information.

Christy - BRCA2+; mets to bones and liver, Taxol/Sutent -> AC, BMX - no recon, Rads, Carboplatin, BSO, Veliparib trial (8/30/13-3/13/14) Dx 7/21/2009, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 14/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2010 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2011 Hormonal Therapy 9/9/2012 Femara (letrozole) Dx 9/9/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/29/2013 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 8/16/2013 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 3/20/2014 Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Feb 3, 2010 02:55PM mom2Bnegativex3 wrote:

YOu are two strong ladies!! Just stay positive. And your right Anasgirl, it is not getting worse and growing. I wish you ladies starting coming out with better feelings from your doctor's offices. You deserve that through this whole battle I wish you nothing but the best and I know in a few months we will be looking back at this whole journey feeling better.

Dx 11/23/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-