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Tumor growth while on chemo

On August 26, 2003, my surgeon expected to remove a benign breast lump, but found a 5 cm malignant tumor in my right breast.  The tumor & 8 lymph nodes were removed. 1 lumph node was malignant.  The pathologist report showed very narrow margins, very aggressive (Bloom Richardson 9/9, ER negative, PR negative, Her2/Neu overexpression 0.  The PET SCan showed no evidence of disease elsewhere.  Two weeks after surgery, I started 4 cycles of Adriamycin and Cytoxan administered every other week.  Between the 4th and 8th week of chemo, the CA 27-29 values tripled. Another PET Scan showed malignancy in right breast.  A modified radical mastectomy (removing all lymph nodes on right side, some muscle tissue, a pice of a vein) was performed.  Pathology report revealed a 4 CM tumor, clean lymph nodes, but vey thin chest margin.

Two weeks after the matectomy, I started 12 weekly treatments with taxotere and Xeloda.  After the 6th treatment the CA 27-29 values have risen again.  My oncologist ordered a CT Scan, and I expect to get the results in day or two.  Meanwhile, I'm worried sick.

My question is how should the tumor growth while on chemo be interpreted?  Does this mean that my cancer is resistant to each of the four drugs I've been given?  Do we continue to try drug afte drug hoping that one of them will kill my cancer cells?  I know that chemotherapy does not treat the primary site well, but it seems unreasonable that relatively large malignant tumors can grow while on chemo.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear VJSsbb, If the cancer is growing in the midst of treatment the conclusion would be that the particular chemotherapy being used is not controlling the cancer, and changing the treatment regimen should be considered.  What drugs and drug regimens to use are determined based on research in how drugs work against particular cancers.  Sometimes a tumor is resistant to the standard treatments and protocols, and approaching the cancer from a different angle - using a drug with a different mechanism of action - may prove to be helpful.  Decisions about what to do for a particular patient would be based on what is found from assessment, prior treatments and the patients response to them.  Having a 4 cm grow while undergoing chemotherapy is not a typical occurrence.
Avatar universal
I heard about something on the Christian station this morning, called
ip6    I looked it up on MSN.. looks encouraging!!  I prayed for you!!! Please God heal her like you did me.. ask in earnest to our Father in Jesus's name! Please look into this ip6   Carol
Avatar universal
I have heard you comment before that you were cured of breast cancer, crediting the Lord with the cure.

Would you mind giving details of what your exact diagnosis was, what tests/procedures/therapy you went thru, and how exactly the doctors have determined that you are cured, and how they know that the Lord was responsible?  

Thank you most respectfully.  I just would like to know.
Avatar universal
Hi.. I would be proud and honored to tell youhow Jesus healed me!! everything, and yes.. Jesus is responsible fo my healing!!!!!
I HAD a tumor 5cm .. they thought it was caused from the pinching, but after the surgeon removed some and sent it off to the pathologist.. he calledme Thanksgiving eve to let us kow it was ductal carsinoma.. (spelling) sent me to the cancer doctor..almost a month went by before my appointment..I stared praying as did everyone that I knew... family,friends..prayer lines.. I had been riding the fence withthe Lord.. not hot or cold.. This opened my eyes again to God plan in my life here on earth.. We started attending the  First Assembly of God Church in Deland.. and attending a city wide prayer one Sunday night...The Holy Spirit was there and the Lord healed me right there on the spot.. When 2 or more are in attendence and pray.. I am there!!!  WOW.. what a night!! I gave my life to Jesus and God.. completely surrendered my soul, spirit and being!!! When I went to the cancer doc.. there was nothing!! I mean NOTHING!!!  the cut where the surgeon cut..healed.. they were amazed.. but from the clinical side.. they wanted me to start some experimental chemo... God said NO!!!  I have to go have a test called a Pet scan.. For the doctors testimonial.. or so they say..I stared reading all out breast cancer. Reading what the Bible says about our sins..I prayed on how besides my Praising  Him, I can help others.. SOme may not want to walk the Christian walk so how could I help them?? I listen to the Christian TV and I heard about the apricot seeds, then yesterday, the IP6...
Avatar universal
I have been eating 8 seeds a day.. The moles that I have on my body either have disapeared.. or (your gonna think this is weird)Pop out.. they are really tiny, but popped out of my skin!!
  We attend Sunday night services,and give myself completely!!! and in prayer this morning, I was told to give testimony..Praise him in song!! and to tell everyone how much he has done for me.. I have to be still and hear God..I am only human and have earthly fears .. Satan wants me to think that I am wrong, that God did not heal me!!.. But he is a LIAR!!! Faith in God....
When this pastor of an assembly laid hands on me I could hardly stand..I could feel the anointing.. Praise be to God!! he, his wife and my husband were praying over me.. (his wife had breast cancer, and God healed her 7 years ago..) I am an Italian woman.. catholic back ground.. but not a practicing catholic.. I have attend Baptist churches and was baptised at 13.. but never lived my life for Christ.. married at 15  married to my husband
( who is a faithful Chritian)married 35 years this year.. Bless all my life, but never gave Him the criedit for it..I was very vain, self centered, controling.. took my troubles to Christ at the foot of the cross, but pride I would always go back to get them!!! Now He has me completely.. I do not know if you are a Christian, but I beg you to give Jesus a chance!!  Ask and it shall be done!!!!
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
...I am confused...
I get that you had a 5cm carcinoma in the breast.  You had it confirmed by biopsy.  You went to an oncologist, who recommended chemo (which you didn't do) and a Pet Scan (which I gather you haven't had).

If I understand correctly, the biopsy scar is gone without a trace and moles are popping out of your body.

Where does the cure part come in?  I am sincerely trying to understand.  The part of "cured" that I visualize is when you go to the doctor, undergo all their tests, and they say that you have no cancer at all, and don't need chemo and don't need any more scans.

I am not doubting, just trying to pull it all together for my own information.  "Cured" would mean that you went to the oncologist who told you that you DO NOT have cancer any more, and you DO NOT need chemo or a Pet Scan, and to go home and celebrate.  

Is that what you meant to say happened?
Avatar universal
I had my Pet scan on Feb 3,04  The cancer is all gone!!! I even had a grapefriut size endrometreois on my left overy, the size of a large orange.. that to is gone!!!  Praise God
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