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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy

December 14, 2021
Everett Bonner, MD
Everett Bonner, MD

Breast Surgery

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If you are one of those patients that receives chemotherapy in the front end, which we call neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and you start to have an incredible response, whether the response is a drastic reduction of that tumor size or where it becomes clinically evident, that may change a couple of things. It may change your staging, where on your final pathology, you may be down a stage. You may have started off as a stage three breast cancer, and when we go and do the surgery, with no lymph node being involved and with the tumor non-existent where we see fibrosis, where another cancer was there, but we can’t find any cancer cells. You may have gone down to a stage zero in downstage, and that may have big implications on what we do after surgery. It also changes the way we approach from a surgical standpoint. Some patients have a very large tumor with some potential skin involvement where traditionally, in the past, only were a candidate for mastectomy, we can now maybe even conserve the breast, because we have a shrinkage of the tumor and where it becomes not clinically evident, and they may have been able to save their breast.