CSN Login
Members Online: 6

Help, Im confused about something

justme32213's picture
Posts: 53
Joined: Mar 2013

I have read many here that have talked about nodes. I have cancerous nodes under my arm, what does that mean. Help ? Please talk to me in pink sisters language so I can understand, I understand very little. Thank you soo soo much .

Posts: 620
Joined: Oct 2012

I would hesitate to say much until you know how many nodes are affected (and been/will be removed) and whether or not it seems the cancer was contained in those nodes.

For me, I ended up with all the nodes around my left arm removed -- to be safe because one was cancerous.  In that one the cancer was contained, as far as the med/path people could tell.  None of the remaining nodes were affected.  My understanding is that is a good thing. 

Not only did I have surgery, I also did chemo and had radiation therapy.  My plan had been to tackle my cancer aggressively.  A lot of what I did, post-surgery, was more preventative than anything else.

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4017
Joined: Oct 2009

The below explanations come from komen.  However, please keep in mind that many of us with + nodes have done very well.  I am a 26 year survivor who had 4 + nodes.


What is lymph node status?

Lymph node status is highly related to prognosis.

  • Lymph node-negative means the lymph nodes do not contain cancer.
  • Lymph node-positive means the lymph nodes contain cancer.

Cancer found only in the breast (lymph node-negative) has the best prognosis. Prognosis is poorer when cancer has spread to the lymph nodes (lymph node-positive). The more lymph nodes that contain cancer, the poorer prognosis tends to be [6].  http://ww5.komen.org/breastcancer/lymphnodestatus.html



Table from: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/Table33Lymphnodestatusandbreastcancersurvival.html

Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program Findings
302,763 women with breast cancer 

Lymph node status 

Five-year relative breast cancer survival 

Negative lymph nodes


1-3 positive lymph nodes


4 or more positive lymph nodes


Unknown number of positive lymph nodes


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 2000-2016 © Cancer Survivors Network