Size comparison pre chemo vs post surgery

Kabee Member Posts: 12
Hi lovely ladies! I’m a first time poster, long time stalker  ;) and up to this point I’ve felt so much support just reading what you have all had to say to others that I haven’t really needed to post up till now. Its so bizarre that I don’t know any of you, yet I feel like I know so many of you.

I was diagnosed 28th Sept 2020 with IDC at the age of 42 (I’m now 43). Biopsy showed some node involvement despite the initial ultrasound saying my nodes looked clear (I’ve since come to realise that the ultrasound isn’t as accurate as an MRI). I had the whirlwind of scans and my team decided the best course of action was 6 mths of chemo followed by a lumpectomy and auxillary clearance followed by radiation. 

I’ve since completed 4 x AC and 12 x Taxol and am scheduled for surgery tomorrow. I’m feeling good about the surgery, not nervous yet. I think I’ve been more nervous about stopping the blood thinners I’m on due to the DVT I developed after the second round of AC than I am about surgery. :# Lol.

So my question for those of you who had chemo prior to surgery is, did you find the surgery pathology results differed much to what the pre-chemo MRI said? (I’m a little confused by other members who have said they had empty pockets?? and their tumours from surgery were bigger than anticipated) I’m more nervous about my pathology results than I am about being operated on. I’m hoping the tumour isn’t bigger than the MRI stated. I know it has shrunk but what if it’s bigger than they first thought?

Thank you  :)


  • lrb_03
    lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,269
    Your path sounds similar to mine, though I had a different chemo cocktail.
    Like everything cancer related, and life in general, we're all different in how we respond

    If you've have scans through chemo showing the tumour has shrunk, they're likely correct. Generally speaking, someone who's tumour is bigger than scans suggest hasn't had chemo first, and if they have, it's entirely possible that scans through chemo have shown progression and they're changing plans

    It's not at all unusual to find the tumour is a different size to what the scans show

    Best wishes for tomorrow, take care while you wait for results
  • Mazbeth
    Mazbeth Member Posts: 199
    Hi @Kabee I did chemo first followed by a BMX - my decision to do both breasts and I can understand how you are feeling. I was like you and had read of other people’s experiences and was really worried about the post surgery pathology. My breast care nurse was excellent and reassured me that the chemo was adding another level of protection - an extra layer to an insurance policy and the surgery was going to now cut the sucker out. I had ILC - considered sneaky and difficult to screen - but my biopsy and the MRI were accurate as the pathology confirmed the size was as expected. There were no surprises and my tumour responded to chemo. Having chemo first has the benefit of ‘getting the report card’ on the effect of chemo, but I think the negative is that we have a long wait before we get all of the detailed pathology. It’s totally normal to feel anxious, but you have thrown a lot at it and now you are doing the last bit and getting what is left of the sucker out. This is another big step forward. My surgeons also warned me that the pathology can take a few days and not to panic as they really do an extensive analysis of all the tissue they remove. You are in good hands. Take care.
  • Kabee
    Kabee Member Posts: 12
    @AllyJay, I’m also hormone positive but Her2 neg. I’ve started the injections to put me into early menopause and will start tabs soon too. So glad to hear you are NED 

    @lrb_03, thank you for your best wishes

    @Mazbeth, I’m definitely looking forward to getting this sucker out 

    thank you ladies for your feedback and kind words 😊
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,561
    Good luck with your surgery tomorrow @Kabee 🍀. I hope the tumour has shrunk and you recover well ♥️
  • Locksley
    Locksley Member Posts: 954
    Wishing you all the best for your  surgery tomorrow @kabee
  • Kabee
    Kabee Member Posts: 12
    Thank you @FLClover & @Locksley. Surgery seems to have gone well. Surgeon is confident she got everything out so that’s great and I still have radiation to go as a back up anyway. 
  • MicheleR
    MicheleR Member Posts: 344
    Great news.