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I had chemo to shrink tumors but now it is significantly bigger

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2013

I hope someone can help!  I was diagnosed in April with Breast cancer in my right breast of 7 cm (?) and also in my lymph nodes.  My oncologist suggested chemo first to shrink tumor and then have a lumpectomy.  I had 6 chemo which I finished at the end of August.  Every time my oncologist examined me she said the tumor had shrunk alot.  However, when I went for the routine mammo and mri, they found that the tumor size had increased alot.  I can see the difference between right and left breast.  The right is huge compared to the left.  The surgeon looked at me and said she could feel the tumor was much bigger than before and she had to do a masectomy instead of the originally planned lumpectomy.


My question is-why would the oncologist have told me the tumor had shrunk and within 2 weeks of finishing chemo the tumor has gotten MUCH bigger.  My right breast is red and the aureole? is also larger than before.  The oncologist and surgeon decided I need to do the masectomy so surgery is scheduled for this Friday.  Noone will give me an answer as to my prognosis.  Can anyone help me?  I am freaking out!


Posts: 63
Joined: Sep 2013

Oh, wow!  You must feel like you've been on a trip to H--- and back.  When I traveled my own personal journey, the entire plan was laid out right from day one, except that biposy results led me to chemo, which I really had my heart set on not doing.  BUT, I hope that someone on CSN who can offer you better advice than I can.  My question/suggestion would be, how much faith do you have in your cancer team, by now maybe not so much.  Are you being treated at a major cancer center, who has seem all the options possible?  If your gut answer to either of those questions is no, I'd get myself to a world class facility, and get a second opinion.   Good luck, stay connected here, it really does help.  You can vent, scream, cry, rant, rave, and its all okay, BECAUSE most of us have done the same things and are here to lend support

New Flower
Posts: 4299
Joined: Aug 2009

Hello CJ

i am very sorry that your Chemo treatment did not work. I am surprised that your oncologist never used ultrasound or MRI to monitor  your tumor shrinkage. Second opinion is a must however mastectomy is probably is the best option. Do not be afraid of the surgery. Many of here undergone it and have been doing wewell keep us posted


Posts: 6564
Joined: Oct 2010

So sorry to hear you are going throught this?

Have you considered a 2nd Opinion?

I'll check back for updates....

thinking of you..


Posts: 45
Joined: May 2013

When I was originally dx in May with IDC my tumor was 5.5cm. I did 3 rounds of weekly taxol and it shrunk down to 3.something cm..I then got pneumonia and stopped chemo for 2 weeks. Sometime between when I stopped and round 6 of taxol (I wasn't officially measured during that time) the tumor grew back to 4cm, and continued growing so that at treatment 9 it was back up at 5.2. The tumor had stopped responding to the chemo, and my doctor couldn't tell me exactly why it happened, other than with aggressive cancers like mine it just happens sometimes. 

Ive now started on FEC and its gone down a cm from the first treatment and continues to shrink from what I can feel. I've got 4 treatments left and will continue to be measured before each other (every 3 weeks) to make sure it's going down, and On the bright side my doc says it will make an interesting case for a research study I had previously agreed to participate in. 

Unfortunately I can't offer any real advice because my docs are keeping me on chemo for now, but at least you know you're not the only one who has had a tumor that has grown back up in a short amount of time. I personally like to think that if it's spending that much time growing in my boob it means it's not very interested in moving elsewhere, but that's a very non medical opinion lol 

either way, we're all rooting for you and wishing you the very best of luck with your surgery :) 

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