Chemo First?

MCJ
MCJ Member Posts: 59
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Had all out tests ready to start chemo before surgery. The tumor is under 5 cm. so we are looking at posibly shrinking it for a better outcome on the lumpectoy.
BUT doesn't it seem better to have surgery to know exactly what the lymp nodes are up to?
The surgeon and oncolgist don't think so, but the plastic surgeon raised the question. We are leaving the option open to a diep flap.
Any comments on doing chemo first? The docs say it would let us know how well the cancer reacts to the chemo. If it has little efffect that would allow the cancer to grow??

thanks sisters

Comments

  • lanie940
    lanie940 Member Posts: 490
    I have heard lots of Medical
    I have heard lots of Medical Oncologists say sometimes chemo comes first to shrink the tumor. I think some on our board had that first. I know mine said that on a local program I watched online on the Hospital network website. So I got to see what my oncology surgeon, and my medical oncologist looked like and talked like before i met them for the first time, it was kinda neat actually.
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    I had to have chemo first to
    I had to have chemo first to shrink the very large tumor (6 cm) and a couple smaller ones. If not the surgeon would have had to do skin grafts. I was a stage 3a. After surgery I was downsized to stage 2b. I did have cancer in two lymph nodes even after the first 4 cycles of chemo. I had to have 4 more cycles of chemo after the surgery and 6 weeks of radiation. Because I had the chemo first I could not have the sentinel node mapping and he couldn't tell how many nodes were involved before. This was in 2003 and I'm still in remission. I was given the A/C before surgery and Taxotere after.
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
    I'm having chemo before
    I'm having chemo before surgery to shrink it. My undersatnding is that the type of cancer is the/a determining factor as to rather or not chemo comes first. In my case, I have IBC with lymph node involvement (per biospy).

    I started on A/C on the 26th (Aug) and when I went last Wed for the 2nd dose, the tumor had shrunk quite a bit.
  • ladybug22
    ladybug22 Member Posts: 646
    Rague said:

    I'm having chemo before
    I'm having chemo before surgery to shrink it. My undersatnding is that the type of cancer is the/a determining factor as to rather or not chemo comes first. In my case, I have IBC with lymph node involvement (per biospy).

    I started on A/C on the 26th (Aug) and when I went last Wed for the 2nd dose, the tumor had shrunk quite a bit.

    good for you
    i had chemo first because i had i b c good luck
  • Cat64
    Cat64 Member Posts: 1,192
    lanie940 said:

    I have heard lots of Medical
    I have heard lots of Medical Oncologists say sometimes chemo comes first to shrink the tumor. I think some on our board had that first. I know mine said that on a local program I watched online on the Hospital network website. So I got to see what my oncology surgeon, and my medical oncologist looked like and talked like before i met them for the first time, it was kinda neat actually.

    Lanie
    Wow that is pretty neat! Do they do that just at your hospital, or do they all have this available I wonder...??
    Cathy
  • Cat64
    Cat64 Member Posts: 1,192
    Hi MCJ
    This is what I chose to do myself. The surgeon suggested a Lumpectomy w/rad. I didn't want to take any chances on a Masc., so I decided to do chemo first. I only want to do surgery once. Shrink it down, take it out, check the LN's,(which he said he would look at in surgery)do more chemo/rad,let me heal & dance with Ned. That's my hopes anyway! Sounds like a good plan!
    Not sure on the chance of it not working though. Someone else may be able to answer that.
    Hugz,
    Cathy
  • survivorbc09
    survivorbc09 Member Posts: 4,374 Member
    I have read of them doing
    I have read of them doing chemo first to shrink the tumor. Trust your oncologist, he knows what he is doing. But, if you don't think so, get a 2nd opinion. Good luck!
  • karen0423
    karen0423 Member Posts: 67
    Hi- I was dx in 2002 with
    Hi- I was dx in 2002 with Stage III and my tumor was 8 cm. I did have chemo prior to my mastectomy. I did 12 weeks of Navelbine and Herceptin, and the tumor did shrink a lot, then I had the mastectomy, followed by 4 AC, 3 Taxol, Radiation and 40 more weeks of Herceptin. I know that the protocals are different now, but I have spoken with a lot of women who are doing chemo first as well. I also had the DIEP in Jan of this year. Good luck to you.
  • meena1
    meena1 Member Posts: 1,003
    karen0423 said:

    Hi- I was dx in 2002 with
    Hi- I was dx in 2002 with Stage III and my tumor was 8 cm. I did have chemo prior to my mastectomy. I did 12 weeks of Navelbine and Herceptin, and the tumor did shrink a lot, then I had the mastectomy, followed by 4 AC, 3 Taxol, Radiation and 40 more weeks of Herceptin. I know that the protocals are different now, but I have spoken with a lot of women who are doing chemo first as well. I also had the DIEP in Jan of this year. Good luck to you.

    I also had chemo first, I
    I also had chemo first, I had inflammatory breast cancer.
  • Sam726
    Sam726 Member Posts: 233
    meena1 said:

    I also had chemo first, I
    I also had chemo first, I had inflammatory breast cancer.

    Chemo first, anyone, anyone?
    Yes, I am having Chemo first to shrink tumor. Also, my Dr stated he believes it is more important to get the meds in me and get started on any potential cancer cells floating around that could settle anywhere else in my body. My tumer is small, 2.5 cm and no spread anywhere else. This will be less of my breast they will have to remove, which is important to me at 33 and single. Lets hope he is right. It was a second opinion and I like the idea.