Tumour not shrinking

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I’ve completed two cycles of Paclitaxel, Carboplatin and immunotherapy last week. I saw the consultant today and he examined me and gave me the impression that the tumour hasn’t changed and wants to refer me back to my breast surgeon for her view. Is this normal? Should I be worried? I assumed that the treatment would work but now I’m worried that maybe it’s not. Consultant didn’t give me an idea of how usual this is or if I should be worried and stupidly was so shocked I didn’t ask… 

  • Hi Rarebit

    Sorry to hear that chemo doesn’t seem to have shrunk your tumour. While most tumours shrink with chemo it can happen that a tumour doesn’t shrink so it’s not unusual. If you are really worried you could ring the helpline or ask in our Ask a nurse section of the website, just be prepared to wait a day or two for an answer.  Here’s the link to the Ask a nurse section Ask a Nurse .

    Wishing you the best of luck with whatever comes next for you.

    Best wishes


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  • Hi Rarebit 

    when I had an MRI scan just short of half way through chemotherapy and my lump hadn’t changed much in size, it had however changed in texture. It had flattened. I was a bit disheartened that it hadn’t shrunk but was told it was all positive and it’s the final MRI after all the chemotherapy that was the most important. 

    How much more treatment do you have to go? 

  • Thank you, that is really heartening to hear, I’ve had two cycles of 8 so only quarter of a way through which is why I was worried he’d referred me already as it felt very early. I have two more paclitaxel and carboplatin cycles then move to EC for 4 cycles. Having immunotherapy too. Hoping there’s been some change for the better or it feels like 6 weeks of chemo for nothing

  • Also I think the EC makes a big difference too. I was part way through cycle 3 (I’m having 8 in total) when I had the MRI so if they had left me  to get to the end of cycle 4 there may have been more change. 

    When I saw the surgeon after the MRI he examined me and said he could still feel the lump. It was ironic as it wasn’t my surgeon and this particular surgeon had never examined me. My surgeon was on annual leave and I ended up seeing him at a later date and he was the one who was more positive.