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How likely is lobular breast cancer to grow/metastasize during chemotherapy?

It grows so slowly, that it seems that the chemo wouldn't affect it at all (since chemo only affects quickly dividing cells). Mine was lobular--between grade 1 and 2--although it was officially labeled Grade 2--so maybe that means the chemo could stop it. I don't know.  There were a few isolated tumor cells in the bone marrow, and 8 lymph nodes were involved.

What I am worried about is that I have another Pet/CT Scan due in early August, when my chemo is done. I had a clean Pet/CT Scan in February, and have been having chemo since. How likely do you think it is that the lobular cancer could have metastasized during that period?

Category: Oncologist

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Category: Hematologist
Dr. Prasad Eswaran is online now

Expert:  Dr. Prasad Eswaran replied 4 Days.

Thanks for writing to us again.

Dear. ,


Since your tumor is slow growing, it need not spread so fast. Moreover, PET CT is not indicated during adjuvant therapy. Chemo can act on all kind of cells fast or slow growing but varying proportions. 


I am sure that this period is not sufficient for the cancer to spread. You will have an excellent outcome. Believe me !


Kind regards.

Do get back to us with additional queries.



Patient replied :

Thank you so much for your answer. I have a bit more information to add.
This is really sort of NEO adjuvant chemo therapy, in a way.
I had a lumpectomy, but the surgeon got poor margins because the MRI didn't show everything. There were 4 extra foci that the pathologist found, one was only partially removed. So, there may be even more foci in the breast. I am having a mastectomy in late August.
Also, the lymph nodes were sort of in a hardened area (NOT matted together, though). There were loose cancer cells between them. She only removed 11 lymph nodes. 3 were negative. I have radiation after the surger.
Does this change your opinion, that there will be no metastasis in 6 months?
Also, how can chemo act on slow growing cells? If it did, it would destroy your whole body, it would seem--because those are all slow growing cells, too.

Expert:  Dr. Prasad Eswaran replied 3 Days.

Thanks for writing to us again.

Yes. There will not be any change in the near future. given your good prognostic features, I see a better outcome in your case. Chemo induces DNA changes in fast and slow growing cells. The more the cell divides, the sooner it gets killed. Cancer cells though slow growing will get affected by chemo but will not be evident sooner as cells take time to divide.


It seems you get more anxious with each day of your treatment. I hope you are getting the best treatment under your physician and it will take care of the disease definitely.


Wishing you a speedy recovery. 

Do post additional queries,


Dr. Prasad Eswaran
Category: Hematologist
Doctorate in Medicine (Fellowship in Oncology), DM,  Madras Medical College & Govt. General Hospital, Chennai, India.

Doctor of Medicine (Residency in Radiation Oncology) , MD, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamilnadu, India, 2004-06.

Diploma in Medical Radiology & Therapy (Residency in Radiation Oncology), D.M.R.T, Madras Medical College & Govt. General Hospital, Chennai, India, 2004-06.

Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery - M.B.B.S, Govt. Stanley Medical College & Hospital, Chennai, India, 1998-2004.
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