Can someone explain to me how they determine what lymph nodes are involved?

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2Floridiansisters
2Floridiansisters Member Posts: 384 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I've only been dx so far so I'm totally in the dark about all of this cancer business, can someone explain to me how they know which ones are needing removed and how do they go about finding them? Hope that makes sense, thanks.

Ronda

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  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
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    Sentinel node biopsy
    Ronda,

    Years ago (probably when your sister was going through treatment), surgeons would remove many or all of a woman's lymph nodes during surgery, because they had no way to know in advance how many might be affected.

    Nowadays, women often have what's called a sentinel node biopsy -- this is usually done at the same time as lumpectomy or mastectomy, but can be done beforehand as a separate procedure. The surgeon takes several lymph nodes as "samples," and tests them during surgery. If they're clean, then there's no need to take any more.

    I had sentinel node biopsides on both sides, at the same time as my lumpectomies. The surgeon removed 3 on one side and 4 on the other, and all tested clean.

    If you search "sentinel lymph node biopsy" on the ACS site, you'll see some good information about the procedure. It saves so many women from what used to turn out to be unnecessary surgery.

    Traci
  • 2Floridiansisters
    2Floridiansisters Member Posts: 384 Member
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    TraciInLA said:

    Sentinel node biopsy
    Ronda,

    Years ago (probably when your sister was going through treatment), surgeons would remove many or all of a woman's lymph nodes during surgery, because they had no way to know in advance how many might be affected.

    Nowadays, women often have what's called a sentinel node biopsy -- this is usually done at the same time as lumpectomy or mastectomy, but can be done beforehand as a separate procedure. The surgeon takes several lymph nodes as "samples," and tests them during surgery. If they're clean, then there's no need to take any more.

    I had sentinel node biopsides on both sides, at the same time as my lumpectomies. The surgeon removed 3 on one side and 4 on the other, and all tested clean.

    If you search "sentinel lymph node biopsy" on the ACS site, you'll see some good information about the procedure. It saves so many women from what used to turn out to be unnecessary surgery.

    Traci

    Oh thanks Traci, okay I
    Oh thanks Traci, okay I understand more now and I will search like you suggested. Traci are you in Louisiana or Los Angeles?
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
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    TraciInLA said:

    Sentinel node biopsy
    Ronda,

    Years ago (probably when your sister was going through treatment), surgeons would remove many or all of a woman's lymph nodes during surgery, because they had no way to know in advance how many might be affected.

    Nowadays, women often have what's called a sentinel node biopsy -- this is usually done at the same time as lumpectomy or mastectomy, but can be done beforehand as a separate procedure. The surgeon takes several lymph nodes as "samples," and tests them during surgery. If they're clean, then there's no need to take any more.

    I had sentinel node biopsides on both sides, at the same time as my lumpectomies. The surgeon removed 3 on one side and 4 on the other, and all tested clean.

    If you search "sentinel lymph node biopsy" on the ACS site, you'll see some good information about the procedure. It saves so many women from what used to turn out to be unnecessary surgery.

    Traci

    In my case they could not do
    In my case they could not do the sentinel node biopsy because I had chemo before surgery. This is because they inject you with dye and follow it to find the sentinel node (and a few more) which they test and if clean assume the nodes that follow are ok. Since I had chemo first they wouldn't know which nodes had the cancer cleaned out. He just removed 15 at surgery time and had them tested. I still had 2 out of 15 with cancer. But didn't need to take out more.
  • mfw413
    mfw413 Member Posts: 2
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    TraciInLA said:

    Sentinel node biopsy
    Ronda,

    Years ago (probably when your sister was going through treatment), surgeons would remove many or all of a woman's lymph nodes during surgery, because they had no way to know in advance how many might be affected.

    Nowadays, women often have what's called a sentinel node biopsy -- this is usually done at the same time as lumpectomy or mastectomy, but can be done beforehand as a separate procedure. The surgeon takes several lymph nodes as "samples," and tests them during surgery. If they're clean, then there's no need to take any more.

    I had sentinel node biopsides on both sides, at the same time as my lumpectomies. The surgeon removed 3 on one side and 4 on the other, and all tested clean.

    If you search "sentinel lymph node biopsy" on the ACS site, you'll see some good information about the procedure. It saves so many women from what used to turn out to be unnecessary surgery.

    Traci

    lymph nodes
    a nurse told me lymph nodes are like grapes.
  • jk1952
    jk1952 Member Posts: 613
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    Marcia527 said:

    In my case they could not do
    In my case they could not do the sentinel node biopsy because I had chemo before surgery. This is because they inject you with dye and follow it to find the sentinel node (and a few more) which they test and if clean assume the nodes that follow are ok. Since I had chemo first they wouldn't know which nodes had the cancer cleaned out. He just removed 15 at surgery time and had them tested. I still had 2 out of 15 with cancer. But didn't need to take out more.

    Ronda, the sentinel lymph
    Ronda, the sentinel lymph nodes are the gatekeepers (sentinels) into the lymph system, and it is assumed that if these nodes and the other sample nodes are clean, then the rest of the lymph nodes have not been affected.

    Joyce
  • mfw413
    mfw413 Member Posts: 2
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    mfw413 said:

    lymph nodes
    a nurse told me lymph nodes are like grapes.

    pancreatic cancer
    three years ago tomorrow 5-30 07 i had whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer. would like to talk to someone who has went through the same thing and doing well like i am.
  • youngnana
    youngnana Member Posts: 41
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    I had the sentinal node
    I had the sentinal node biopsy at the time of my mastectomy. About an hour before surgery, they gave me 3 dye injections around the nipple. It was a little uncomfortable, but not bad. The dye goes to the first lymph node, and that shows them which one to biopsy, if that one is clear, then the others are all clear. You pee blue the next day, weard !
    hope that helps,
    Karen
  • Katz77
    Katz77 Member Posts: 598
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    mfw413 said:

    pancreatic cancer
    three years ago tomorrow 5-30 07 i had whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer. would like to talk to someone who has went through the same thing and doing well like i am.

    Congrats on
    being in remission for ur pancreatic cancer. I think there is a discussion board availble to you also. I have breast cancer (did). Maybe someone here has had pancreatic ca, but I haven't seen post so far. Good luck, it seems like ur life is on the upswing.
  • weazer
    weazer Member Posts: 440
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    youngnana said:

    I had the sentinal node
    I had the sentinal node biopsy at the time of my mastectomy. About an hour before surgery, they gave me 3 dye injections around the nipple. It was a little uncomfortable, but not bad. The dye goes to the first lymph node, and that shows them which one to biopsy, if that one is clear, then the others are all clear. You pee blue the next day, weard !
    hope that helps,
    Karen

    Smurf Pee
    My cousin was staying with me, and she totally flipped out over the color of my pee, but a Great test, so you know what your looking at in your future.
    And when I had my lumpectomy the Doc took a few out and they were fine.
    I'm so in awe as far as how far technology has come from when my mother had BC 22 years ago.
    Take care and keep your head up....Karie
  • roseann4
    roseann4 Member Posts: 992 Member
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    weazer said:

    Smurf Pee
    My cousin was staying with me, and she totally flipped out over the color of my pee, but a Great test, so you know what your looking at in your future.
    And when I had my lumpectomy the Doc took a few out and they were fine.
    I'm so in awe as far as how far technology has come from when my mother had BC 22 years ago.
    Take care and keep your head up....Karie

    I had the dye but no colored pee.
    That's funny. They only removed my sentinal lymph node and definately used the dye, but I did not have colored pee. Hmmm. Perhaps there are different brands that work differently.

    Roseann
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
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    roseann4 said:

    I had the dye but no colored pee.
    That's funny. They only removed my sentinal lymph node and definately used the dye, but I did not have colored pee. Hmmm. Perhaps there are different brands that work differently.

    Roseann

    Makes me feel not so left out to hear that, Roseann!
    I had sentinel node biopsies on both sides at the same time, so I'm assuming that means I had double the amount of dye that many of you had -- but no blue pee! I felt so left out....

    :-) Traci
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
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    TraciInLA said:

    Makes me feel not so left out to hear that, Roseann!
    I had sentinel node biopsies on both sides at the same time, so I'm assuming that means I had double the amount of dye that many of you had -- but no blue pee! I felt so left out....

    :-) Traci

    I didn't either....
    But I ended up with a blue spot on my breast for about a year...lol!

    Also, after my resection, I brought up some lovely emerald green stuff...I've always wondered what happened during that 7-hour surgery....was it green beer???? Did I miss a PARTY????

    Hugs, Kathi
  • th7799
    th7799 Member Posts: 6
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    KathiM said:

    I didn't either....
    But I ended up with a blue spot on my breast for about a year...lol!

    Also, after my resection, I brought up some lovely emerald green stuff...I've always wondered what happened during that 7-hour surgery....was it green beer???? Did I miss a PARTY????

    Hugs, Kathi

    Me either....
    I was told to be on the lookout for the blue pee, but it never happened! Makes you wonder what the differences are, could certainly be the dye they used.
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
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    TraciInLA said:

    Sentinel node biopsy
    Ronda,

    Years ago (probably when your sister was going through treatment), surgeons would remove many or all of a woman's lymph nodes during surgery, because they had no way to know in advance how many might be affected.

    Nowadays, women often have what's called a sentinel node biopsy -- this is usually done at the same time as lumpectomy or mastectomy, but can be done beforehand as a separate procedure. The surgeon takes several lymph nodes as "samples," and tests them during surgery. If they're clean, then there's no need to take any more.

    I had sentinel node biopsides on both sides, at the same time as my lumpectomies. The surgeon removed 3 on one side and 4 on the other, and all tested clean.

    If you search "sentinel lymph node biopsy" on the ACS site, you'll see some good information about the procedure. It saves so many women from what used to turn out to be unnecessary surgery.

    Traci

    Traci explained it really
    Traci explained it really well, so, I won't add anything. Just wishing you good luck!