• Is anyone going through or that has gone through chemo before surgery?

    Asked by kleslied on Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Is anyone going through or that has gone through chemo before surgery?

    I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago and am finishing up the process before I start my clinical trial of chemo. I see most people here are having surgery first then move on to chemo, they want to shrink mine before doing the surgery so quite a different process than I am finding here.

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I think you will find many here that have been through both, either surgery first and then chemo, or chemo first and then surgery.

      I have one more chemo treatment left and then will have surgery. That was the treatment plan of choice for pretty much the same reason as yours....to shrink the cancer before surgery to improve the odds of clean margins and more complete remission,.

      over 4 years ago
    • CountryGirl's Avatar

      I had chemo first; then, after a three week break, surgery; and after five weeks, I began radiation. The reason I had having chemo first was because my tumor was large (fewer than 5% of tumors are as big as mine was) and the cancer was extremely aggressive (my tumor more than doubled in size in three weeks).

      Many journeys are different.

      over 4 years ago
    • PinkD's Avatar

      Well, I did surgery both before and after, somewhat by mistake! I'd been scheduled to have a cyst removed and before that could happen this other lump appeared, so the surgeon decided to take it out at the same time--and it turned out to be cancer. So I did chemo and then had the official "lumpectomy" primarily to check for clean margins (they were!). Also did the sentinel node biopsy at that time, also clear! Radiation started after I'd healed up for a few weeks.

      over 4 years ago
    • Chrissy's Avatar

      Everyone's cancer is different, so trust your doctor's expertise for your individual cancer. I was stage 2; tumor was 5 cm and also spread to first two lymph nodes. I had two rounds of chemo first to shrink my tumor, which worked just as they said it would. Pathology report came back clear on lymph nodes after removal, so the chemo worked. And besides, after chemo, you can handle anything!

      over 4 years ago
    • ibcword's Avatar
      ibcword (Best Answer!)

      I was stage 3c and needed to have chemo first in order to shrink the tumor. I had 8 rounds of chemo over 16 weeks, a 3 week break, then surgery. I am now in my 4th week of Radiation which started once the surgery was healed to a certain degree. It is worth the wait. I have also heard of others having additional chemo after surgery, so the plan can vary depending on the situation.

      I know at times we can have thoughts that feel like no one is quite like "me", which is true to some degree because our cancer is unique and at different levels. But I have found a great connection with a lot of ladies fighting this disease. Keep reaching out, months from now you will be glad you did.

      over 4 years ago
    • bcoll's Avatar

      Yes, my experience was similar to nancyjac and countrygirl. I had chemo first, before surgery. This was meant to shrink the tumor.

      over 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      It's nice to have chemo first because then you have more time to consider your surgical options... My clinical trial also had chemo first... Which I followed with bilateral mastectomy.

      There also seems to be a growing body of evidence that chemo first yields improved outcomes. I think this makes sense since chemo is systemic and goes after everything present.

      Another good thing is that the effect of chemo on the cancer actually be quantified. So. If you are having a good response, you get that peace of mind. If you are not, then other approaches can be tried sooner...

      I think the chemo first approach is becoming more and more common.

      Good luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • Donnaakins' Avatar

      I had 21 chemo treatments prior to double mastectomies. My cancer is IDC, stage III, with metastisis to lymph nodes and lobular insitu. My cancer was also aggressive.

      Seven weeks ago and had skin sparring mastectomies followed by immediate reconstuction. The path report for the breast tissue and 12 lymphnodes was negative. The chemo was very effective!

      over 4 years ago
    • Mandi75's Avatar

      I am undergoing chemo for stage IIIc possible IBC but had a tumor 2.8 cm and multiple areas of lymph nodes effected. The chemo is to shrink and hopefully totally get rid of the tumor and cancer. I have seen great results. The tumor cannot be found by self exam both by myself and the doctors now. I get the area viewed via ultrasound tomorrow, April 5th. Very excited for the results. I hope your results are good too!

      over 4 years ago
    • nancy123's Avatar

      I had chemo first because my cancer was so aggressive and also had spread to my liver. So by choosing to have chemo first was a good decision on my part because I responded so well to chemo. I then had a mastectomy on my left breast and removal of lymph nodes with only one out of nine coming back positive.

      about 4 years ago

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