• Who else had a lot of lymph nodes involved?

    Asked by SamanthaJB on Saturday, January 26, 2013

    Who else had a lot of lymph nodes involved?

    I had a lumpectomy, chemo, radiation and I am on tamoxifen. I had had a mammogram in July of 2011 which was read as normal and by January 2012 I was diagnosed with bc. I feel confident about my treatments and my doctors. We knew I had some lymph node involvement-but after surgery I was considered stage 3 due to 20 out of 27 nodes being positive. What bothers me is I have met very few people who had such node involvement though my doctors say that doesn't put me at a higher risk than other survivors because of my treatments. However, when I meet other survivors many seem shocked at the # of nodes involved and that a lumpectomy was an option that I chose. I know everyone has an opinion but I have found this site to be very helpful so.....?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar

      Are you certain about your diagnosis? Mistakes are still made. Lymphoma is also found in the breast, and it would naturally be also in the nodes. I had a systemic lymphoma, and the first PET simply said "innumerable" nodes were involved. Yet, whatever is in the nodes gets a good shot of whatever chemo is in your bloodstream, so it may indeed not be all that worrisome. What I wonder about is if they made the right initial diagnosis. In one forum, there was a woman who had a mastectomy before they learned that it was actually lymphoma, which would have simply melted away with chemo.

      over 3 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I had a bilateral mastectomy, chemo, radiation and I am on Arimidex. I had 8 out of 11 lymph nodes that were positive. Due to dense/fibrocystic tissue, my tumor did not show on the mammo or the ultrasound. It was the "generous"lymph node that caught the doctors attention -- so, in my case, thank God for the involved lymph node or I would have gone home for another year thinking that everything was just fine -- and my tumor was 4.9!!! After diagnosis, when I was starving for info, I found a site totally dedicated to participants with extensive lymph node involvement -- ladies with 25 or 28, etc. were 15 to 20 years out and doing fine. I found a lot of hope during a dark period. WhatNext has been my mainstay -- you will find caring support here. I wish you the best of luck!

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      My situation is somewhat similar to yours in that we are the same age and I was diagnosed with Stage 3 BC, six months after an all-clear mammogram, too. My primary tumor is 5+ cm and I had a 1+ cm tumor in one of my lymph nodes. My surgeon felt he could get clean margins with either a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, but I chose mastectomy because the amount of tissue removed in a lumpectomy would have been significant. What's different about you and me is that my other 11 nodes removed were clear.

      I know you were asking more directly about lymph node involvement than you were asking about lumpectomy for Stage 3 BC in women our age with a history of clear mammograms. My friend's mother was recently diagnosed and all 22 nodes removed were cancerous. It's probably not as unusual as you think. Hope this helps a bit.

      over 3 years ago
    • mcowett's Avatar

      I only had 10 removed and what was more worrysome for me was the lymphedema and not so much the cancer coming back. Take care of your arm, do those exercises they suggest, stretch that arm out. YOu do not want lymphedema. I got it and it is not fun.

      over 3 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      My BS only took the first layer of lymph nodes out....12 total....8 were postive...from what my BS said, is that people have different amoutns of nodes in each layer....and some docs take all 2 layers...I had a bilat (one side prophy)...I was not a candidate for lumpectomy as I had 3 tumors in my breast...i sometimes worry that since lots of nodes were left, maybe there were more involved with cancer, but with chemo and radiation, I'm okay....What your doctor says make sense to me.....

      over 3 years ago

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