• Has anyone else done chemo first, before surgery and radiation?

    Asked by Nickyh01 on Wednesday, September 5, 2012

    Has anyone else done chemo first, before surgery and radiation?

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Yes - I had chemo first and a bilateral mastectomy about three and a half weeks after the last treatment.

      This was great for several reasons.
      1 - I had two MRIs during treatment and got to see the decrease in tumor volume... to the point that there was no detectable cancer by the third MRI after the final treatment.
      2 - I could FEEL the lump changing and getting smaller...
      3 - The end pathology showed that all of the cancer had been killed - I had a complete pathological response. The lump that I could still feel was actually just scar tissue.
      4 - I had TIME to make decisions about surgery. I never considered lumpectomy for a number of reasons, but after 5 months of chemo, I felt very confident of my decision to go with the bilateral mastectomy.

      I think it might actually be better for healing as well, although I'm not sure. Instead of having chemo relatively soon after surgery, I had surgery after I started recovering from the chemo.

      Hmmm - what else. From the perspective of prognosis, I think there is little difference - just a slight improvement in stats for people having chemo first.

      I know people who have had both styles of treatment.

      Seems like your treatment plan is a tough one... And I wish you the very best of luck...


      almost 9 years ago
    • ruthieq's Avatar

      Yes I did because of inflammatory breast cancer. My cancer area was so large they couldn't get clear margins and then discovered it was IBC which can metastasize with surgery before chemo. SO Surgery was stopped and I got a port then chemo. 4 rounds of A/C and then 4 rounds of Taxotere, all dose dense and hard hitting. Then once I recovered they did a bilateral mastectomy (my choice) with good response to treatment. I didn't have intra treatment scans or anything just chemo then surgery then rads. Its been 6 yrs and I'm still NED (no evidence of disease).

      almost 9 years ago
    • novastorm's Avatar

      Yes, I had chemo first, then surgery and radiation. My doctors wanted to shrink the tumor first, so that surgery would not impact my chest wall. By the end of chemo, the tumor was not visible on MRI. But the first surgery did not show clean margins, so a second surgery was done, which did. Radiation was fairly easy. 2+ years out from treatment, and I feel great. My latest mammogram was clean. If I could give advice to every woman out there who has to go through breast cancer treatment, it would be: drink lots of water through chemo, and exercise religiously--walk, run, lift weights, stay active. You can do this!

      almost 9 years ago

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