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Tumors over 2 cm

tcteach's picture
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2009

I would like to hear your oncologist's views on treating tumors over 2 cm, especially in younger women (40s). I have been told that chemo is a must. Is that how your doctors feel?

Thanks, in advance, for the info

chenheart's picture
Posts: 5180
Joined: Apr 2003

My tumor was 3cm with 3 of 15 positive lymphnode, so chemo was ordered. Rads too...that was almost 7 years ago. I was 110 at the time, so I don't know about the younger set! But I look damn good for being 117, so the chemo was worth it!


Aortus's picture
Posts: 967
Joined: Jan 2009

But I have to ask you anyway. I can't imagine that you were born 50 feet tall (at least I hope for your mom's sake you weren't). So when did you do your major growing? In your teens, maybe? Or maybe after you turned 95? Can you help me out here, Claudia?


Noel's picture
Posts: 3100
Joined: Apr 2009

My tumor was small, but, I was told that anything over 2cm requires chemo. Age has nothing to do with it at all. Good luck!

confused123's picture
Posts: 251
Joined: Jun 2009

I am also "younger", age 33. I had chemo but I am not sure if it is because of tumor size or because of type of cancer. I was told that the chemo was also to kill any loose cancer cells floating around in the body.


creampuff91344's picture
Posts: 989
Joined: Nov 2008

Well, to start with....I am not younger, but will answer your questions about the 2cm's being the cutoff. My oncologist told me that 2 cm's in size was the determining factor on whether chemo was part of the treatment or not. My tumor was 2.1 cm's....he made no exceptions. Also, the tumor had gone undetected through three previous mammograms done in a different city over a four year period. I was just lucky that I moved in 2008, and the first thing I did was find a gynocologist to do my annual checkup. My mammogram detected something that wasn't quite right, and the radiologist wrote to my previous mammogram facility and requested past film. They sent the mammo from 2004, and sure enough, it was there then. I am just lucky to have found it when I did....but it does make me mad that the chemo could have been avoided if it had been picked up back in 2004. Sometimes it just makes you angry that physicians who profess to be "experts" make mistakes, and you are the one who pays the price. (It was the same radiologist who read my memmograms in 2004, 2005 and 2006...he missed it all three times.) Hope this answers your question, but I am sure there are others who have experienced similar situations. Hugs.


Jeanne D's picture
Jeanne D
Posts: 1867
Joined: Mar 2009

My oncologist said that any tumor 2cm or over is always treated with

chemo, or, should be.

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3602
Joined: May 2009

I don't think age has anything to do with it. My oncologist, and, from what I have read says that tumors over 2cm are treated with chemo. Good luck!

Marcia527's picture
Posts: 2749
Joined: Jul 2006

I was over 50 when diagnosed. But my tumor was 6cm, 3cm, and another smaller one. I had to have chemo first to shrink the tumor or I'd need skin grafts. Then after surgery needed more chemo and rads. I had two nodes with cancer out of 15 even after the first four cycles of chemo. I've wondered if I misunderstood and instead of three tumors, maybe this was one whopper tumor's dimensions. I've ordered my records to be sent to me but have not received them yet. Boy are they slow.

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

I think it is pretty standard that tumors 2cm or over require chemo. And, like the others said, I don't know that age has anything to do with it. Good luck to you!

Noel's picture
Posts: 3100
Joined: Apr 2009

Did you get your records yet Marcia? It took a couple of weeks for me to get everything on me.

Marcia527's picture
Posts: 2749
Joined: Jul 2006

I finally did get my records but they don't cover the treatment time period. The place I had treatment didn't send them to my next oncologist.

mimivac's picture
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

Tricia, I think tumors over 2 cm are considered stage II and above and therefore chemo is prescribed. Anything under 2 is potentially stage I and there is more room to skip certain treatments. My tumor (at age 34) was 2.6 cm. and triple negative so there was no question that chemo and rads would be in order. My doctors were actually nervous that I would decide against chemo. Believe me, that was not even a consideration.

Age does matter. Younger women get more aggressive cancer and require more aggressive treatments. Younger women also have a longer period for the cancer to eventually come back, so more aggressive treatment is in order.

Marcia527's picture
Posts: 2749
Joined: Jul 2006

I wonder if it is not age but if you are in menopause that determines aggressive cancer (I read this someplace). I was 52 when diagnosed but not in menopause yet and my cancer was grade 3 which my surgeon said was aggressive. I had chemo induced menopause. In my mind it is more tragic to get cancer the younger you are though.

Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2009

I have been following you somewhat. Not a stalker but as a newly diagnosed Triple Negative. I had a lumpectomy, Stage II, Grade III, on 7-10-09. Chemo to begin 8-13-09 followed by Rad. Do you have any wisdom you can pass on? Were you able to work during chemo? I don't know what to expect.

Thanks, Robin

dyaneb123's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: May 2009

My tumor was 2.5 and the surgeon would have stopped at a lumpectomy and radiation if the cancer cells had not spread into surronding tissue margins , but as they had spread, and I had one positive node, I ended up with a mastectomy and chemo. I think if it is confined to the tumor , you can get by without the chemo.

Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

I was told by my oncologist also that tumors over 2 cm are always treated with chemo, as, that is usually seen as an aggresive cancer, if it is that size.

susie09's picture
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

My oncologist said any tumor over 2cm almost always would require chemo. And, since that was a large tumor, that a lumpectomy with clean margins would take a lot of the breast, so, some women have a mastectomy with reconstruction, since most of their breast would be gone.

Seems it differs with some.

Posts: 38
Joined: Jul 2009


Kylez's picture
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Age has nothing to do with it that I know. But, I was told that tumors over 2cm are almost always treated with chemo. And, a friend of mine had a 1.9 cm and since she was so close, her oncologist and she decided to have chemo too.

She wanted to do everything to fight bc. And, she even had the oncotype test, but, didn't follow what it said. It said she shouldn't.

So, I think it just varies.

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