CSN Login
Members Online: 13

help me... about my mother breast cancer

toblina63
Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2012

Matter of my mother
We discovered that the then second-class cancer in her right breast
We took a biopsy of the tumor and analyzed
We discovered that the tumor size of 3.7 cm x 2 cm
Dr gave us "FEC" chemical and after the three times we will remove the tumor
My question here about the lymph nodes
Is it necessary to remove them?
Or if they will be exposed to radiation
They already take doses of chemical
Is not that enough to cleanse the lymph nodes of cancer
Here in Egypt there is no way the sentinel biopsy

Give me your opinion and your experience...

What should I do

lynn1950's picture
lynn1950
Posts: 2573
Joined: Jun 2008

I had my sentinel node removed. It had cancer. So I had 14 more nodes removed and 6 had cancer. I am glad that they were removed, even though I had chemo and radiation. I have numbness in my underarm and I am at risk for lymphedema because of this surgery. Had I not had the nodes removed, I would have been at greater risk for the cancer spreading to other parts of my body. I am sorry that a sentinel node biopsy is not an option for your mother. Best wishes to you and your family. xoxoxo Lynn

toblina63
Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2012

we have now 2 choices
1- remove all lymph nodes, and fear of the consequences and pain, swelling and numbness
2- Not removed and the risk that we will rely on chemotherapy and radiotherapy because I think and I feel that these lymph nodes in my mother was not involved

What would you choose if you where I am?......

Rague
Posts: 3442
Joined: Aug 2009

I may offend some by saying this but it is not your decision to make unless she has been deemed incompetenant and you are her legal guardian - it is her decision.

It is not as simple as taking all nodes or no nodes.

When you say "pain, swelling and numbness" are you referring to Lyphedema (LE)? This/LE is possible in any surgery even if no nodes are 'removed' but are damaged. I had 19 nodes removed and do deal with LE but only the swelling which is manageable - there is no pain for me. I do have some numbness but that is from the surgery and nerves that were cut - not the removal of nodes. I have a small area where I have no feeling along the incision from my 2 Ceasarian sections. It's life and I chose LIFE.

I do understand that you want to keep your Mom with you - I did too many years ago but it was Mom's decision how she was TX'd. When I was DX'd, I knew exactly what I would do - it was my decision though I did talk with Hubby and Son - they said what I had already decided - FIGHT with everything availiable. Bottom line is - it was MY decision!

Prayers for your Mom and you!

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

Rague
Posts: 3442
Joined: Aug 2009

I may offend some by saying this but it is not your decision to make unless she has been deemed incompetenant and you are her legal guardian - it is her decision.

It is not as simple as taking all nodes or no nodes.

When you say "pain, swelling and numbness" are you referring to Lyphedema (LE)? This/LE is possible in any surgery even if no nodes are 'removed' but are damaged. I had 19 nodes removed and do deal with LE but only the swelling which is manageable - there is no pain for me. I do have some numbness but that is from the surgery and nerves that were cut - not the removal of nodes. I have a small area where I have no feeling along the incision from my 2 Ceasarian sections. It's life and I chose LIFE.

I do understand that you want to keep your Mom with you - I did too many years ago but it was Mom's decision how she was TX'd. When I was DX'd, I knew exactly what I would do - it was my decision though I did talk with Hubby and Son - they said what I had already decided - FIGHT with everything availiable. Bottom line is - it was MY decision!

Prayers for your Mom and you!

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

RozHopkins
Posts: 488
Joined: Dec 2010

My understanding is the sentinel node test is a newish procedure. It showed my first feeder node was cancer free hence no others had to be checked as all cancer from the breast would start in this one first. Years previously often they would just take all nodes away causing additional problems with llympodema etc. (my mum had this) On the other hand if all is taken away then there is no cancer in that area to travel no matter what. Now have heard here some had CLEAR NODES LIKE ME and got cancer in those same nodes later,,,, no easy answer, cancer likes to fool us and is sneaky. I'll be interested to hear what others say, I thought cancerous nodes had to be removed does rads clear them. Didn't think so!!!!!!!'

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Toblina63,

When I was diagnose back in 1994, they did not have sentinel biopsy at the time. The armpit (axilla) has 3 level of lymph nodes. They remove level one in a lymph node dissection to check for malignant cancer nodes. I had a regular lymph node dissection which the surgeon removed 27 nodes on level one. I did have positive lymph nodes. Due to my oncologist not being very good, he forgot the orders for radiation. In my case, a tumor developed there and I had the 2nd level of lymph nodes removed along with some at the 3rd level 4 1/2 years later. I did have radiation this time.

I have never developed lymphedema and have had 4 bouts of cellulitis (infections) in that arm. They were serious enough to be put in the hospital with antibiotics given by an IV. If anyone should have had lymphedema I would be a good candidate with 2 full lymph node dissections and 4 infections but, I don't. It is not a given to develop this problem. No one knows why some women do have it and others don't. I don't even wear a compression sleeve when I go by plane. Never had a problem.

Your mother doesn't want radiation if she doesn't need it in armpit area. That is why they need to know if there are malignant lymph nodes or not. She is having chemotherapy. I had chemotherapy too. It did not prevent a tumor from developing in my armpit nor later lesions in my ribs. My tumor was estrogen positive and I was on Tamoxifen from the time I finished chemotherapy until they found the tumor in the armpit.

There is no guarantee no matter what one does. We can do all that is recommended and for 30% of women will have their cancer return. However, 70% won't ever have their cancer return and will live their life cancer free.

I would go by what the oncologist recommends for your mother. He/she has all the details that we don't have on your mother's specific situation.

Wishing you and your mother the best on this journey that no one ever wants to go on. Keep us posted on how she is doing.

Best to you,

Doris

toblina63
Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2012

First I apologize for my English is weak
Secondly thank everyone for the helpful
Third, I want to know more of the ladies and the cases that have been removed lymph nodes from her hand
I want to know how to live and live with it
I want to know the maximum evil and the best good thing
And i want to know how much lymph gland will be removed by the surgeon and on what basis determines the number

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

Dear Toblina,

Why would your mother have lymph nodes removed from her hand? Only local lymph nodes from the breast are the ones to be concerned about and they are either in the armpit or chest wall.

I believe it is your mother who has breast cancer and she will learn to live with what ever happens. There are many, many posters throughout the years who have come to this board and all have learn to live with the results.

A surgeon takes a sampling. Think of grapes, they take a handful to determine if there are any that are malignante. This would give the oncologist a good idea how much (if ANY) the cancer has spread. One those not count how many grapes in a bunch, so each surgeon takes a sampling. There is no set number.

There is an old saying that I like, "prepare for the worst, hope for the best and live each day to the hilt".

Best,

Doris

Margeaux
Posts: 77
Joined: Dec 2011

Dear Toblina:
Do not worry about your English, many of us have English as a second language. I was 76 when I was diagnosed with Stage IIB cancer in the left breast, 2 lymph nodes also showed signs of cancer. My cancer was Grade 3, the most agressive kind, with Grade 1 the least agressive. I was given chemo first, spread over 6 grueling months, then lumpectomy and lymph node removal. At first I was told I had to have a mastectomy, but the chemo shrank the tumors and it was decided to do a lumpectomy. Following surgery I had 6 weeks of radiation. 18 lymph nodes were removed, none showed cancer. This cannot be determined beforehand, even with tests like PET scans, the tissue needs to be examined under the microscope for cancer cells. My surgery was May 201o. My surgeon told me that with Stage IIB cancer he would not do a sentinel biopsy, but remove the first section of lymph nodes, however many that may be, in my case 18. My step-daughter was diagnosed with Stage I, Grade 2 cancer, had lumpectomy and radiation, 2 sentinel nodes were removed just to be sure there was no spread, luckily they were negative for cancer. It is certain that with sentinel removal only there are fewer side effects such as lymph edema (swelling of the hand and arm) and chronic pain, from which I unfortunately suffer), but as with anything related to cancer, there is no guarantee. When I was diagnosed I entered a world of unknown medical terms and learned more than I ever wanted to know. Do you have access to up-to-date literature in Egypt? The internet is very helpful too, however, I found one had to be careful, there is also a lot of mis-information. English language - American Cancer Society, Breastcancer.org, are two good sources of information.
Hugs and hugs to your Mother, Margeaux

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2015 © Cancer Survivors Network