• Lymph node involvement

    Asked by catbacker77 on Saturday, February 27, 2016

    Lymph node involvement

    I had a mastectomy with clear margins but when my pathology report finally came back it showed that I had 4 live cancer cells in the lymph node they removed. It stumped the local pathologists so they are sending my results to Mayo Clinic so I have to wait again for what they come up with. What can this mean and what does it mean in way of treatment.

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      It usually means some kind of chemotherapy and possible radiation may be needed to make sure that everything bad is killed. I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. Hugs.

      almost 5 years ago
    • TXHills' Avatar
      TXHills

      If they find a tiny spot of cancer that is less than 2 mm, it is sometimes called a micrometastsis. Work with your oncologist to see if this changes your treatment plan. Best to you.

      almost 5 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956

      I had several positive nodes but I knew that going into my mastectomy. For me chemo was a given going into surgery, but radiation was depending on the number of nodes...if I more than 4 positive it meant radiation. I had more....Of course, March 1st is my 10 year anniversary since bilat mastectomy....so I can't say what it means today. As hard as it is, it is doable. All the best to you.

      almost 5 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      For me, lymph node action resulted in chemo and radiation post surgery. I'm sure sorry you have to play the waiting game here, and I hope they don't make you go through chemo. If they do, it may be unpleasant, but it surely doesn't last forever. Radiation is a walk in the park compared to chemo, though it is far more inconvenient. They haven't told you what possible treatment plans lie ahead for you yet? Perhaps it would be a good idea to ask your doctor the next time you're there. No matter what they want you to do, please know we're all here for you. We've gone through chemo, rads, surgery, and all the ups and downs that go with them. HUGS and God bless!

      almost 5 years ago
    • sjk's Avatar
      sjk

      I had a very small spot of cancer and the margins were clear. At first, they told me the lymph nodes looked clear. The next day they called and said they found some cancer cells in a lymph node. I then had chemo and radiation. Disappointing for sure but you don't want the cancer cells left there to grow elsewhere.

      almost 5 years ago
    • MelanieIIB's Avatar
      MelanieIIB

      My sentinel lymph node contained cancer. My surgeon told my husband that this fact "bought me chemo and radiation". On a cellular level, it is impossible to tell if there are any other cancer cells left after surgery so chemo and radiation is the "standard of care". The type of chemo you receive depends upon the pathology report whether your cancer Her2, ER, and PR positive or negative. If it is Her2 pos., there is an additional drug you will be given called, Herceptin. It does not kill all fast growing cells as chemo does, it only goes after Her2 pos. cells. My biopsy pathology showed her2 neg. cells. After my first mastectomy, the 3rd tumor that was found after my initial biopsy by a breast MRI showed her2 pos. cells. Since it is the more aggressive cancer, the chemo I was given was based on that type of cancer.

      You can do this....one day at a time and one treatment at a time. We are here to support you. Please let us know what your report is and suggested treatment.

      almost 5 years ago
    • PinkyPromise's Avatar
      PinkyPromise

      I had a similar situation, with one of the "micromets" that @TXHills mentioned. For me, that meant chemo but no radiation. For me, chemo seemed less ominous than radiation, because my tumor was directly over my heart.

      almost 5 years ago
    • debsweb18's Avatar
      debsweb18

      It was the opposite for me. I had a small tumor on 1 lymph node but my oncotypedx score was 9 so I didn't have chemo and did have radiation.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Mary1313's Avatar
      Mary1313

      I had two nodes with micro mets during lumpectomy--not clear margins. Surgeon took 5 more during double mastectomies and those were all clear. Oncotype score was 8. No chemo or radiation and two years out. Lobular and not aggressive.

      almost 5 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar
      debco148

      I had left side mastectomy.. and nodes tested in surgery.. only 2 sentinel nodes. Initial testing showed no involvement and clear margins. A few days later final pathology showed some activity in the first sentinel but not the second. I was originally told I'd need the ancillary node surgery, but that was 4 years ago (today is my 4 year anniversary of that mastectomy). Right around that time, there were new studies indicating that there was no need for this surgery.. So I lucked out with that. But, I was prescribed protocol of chemo, then radiation. Again, this all depends on type of cancer and many other things that oncologist look at to prescribe treatment.. as it is individualized based on your cancer. Best to you!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Suzevee's Avatar
      Suzevee

      I had mastectomy 4weeks ago for triple neg breast cancer I already knew it was under arm in nodes and had Axilla dissection at same now like you I'm faced with the knowledge that out of the 11 nodes taken 5 still had cancer cells even though I'd had chemo before my surgery. I see oncologist tomorrow and know that I will need radiotherapy I had been told prior to surgery that I would need it. I am trying to stay positive I've come so far in such a short time and really believe the radiotherapy is my next challenge I want the cancer cells gone and will find the strength to deal with it whatever it entails .I hope that you find out what's involved quickly and can commence the radiotherapy or chemotherapy that will be necessary.Good luck keep fighting get those cancer cells gone .

      almost 5 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar
      JennyMiller

      I had bilateral mastectomy. My margins were clear but I had 8 positive nodes out of 11. So, I had 8 sessions of chemo and 37 sessions of radiation. I am now on Femara for 10 years. My 5 year anniversary is in November of this year. As for treatment, I believe in being aggressive against this evil enemy -- so do all that you can so that you have no regrets later. Best of Luck

      almost 5 years ago

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