pathology report - stage 3A

mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1

I just got the pathology report from my surgery a week ago and it turns out the tumour was almost 5cm in length and 4 out of 10 lymph nodes removed were postive. Apparently this puts me in the stage 3A category. I must admit I am rather nervouse about this. I thought if I were in the stage 2 then I would be 'safe' however I feel rather exposed by this medical term of stage 3A.

I visit the oncologist next Monday to discuss further treatment so I will see what he has to say.

It also means I need radiation in my armpit. Was trying to avoid radiation.

Would love to hear from others who have had similar diagnosis.



  • susie09
    susie09 Member Posts: 2,930
    Hi Mariam
    My diagnosis is not like yours Mariam. But, you can and will beat the beast! We will all help you get thru whatever treatment that you have to go thru. Radiation is very doable. A lot of us went thru it and we are just fine! There is even a thread going on here about how much we all miss going for rads. LOL I am sure that someone with a similar diagnosis will post to you. I just wanted to say hi and to wish you good luck!

    ♠♣ Susie ♠♣
  • kathyDDD
    kathyDDD Member Posts: 34
    Me too
    Hi Mariam,

    I too had a 5cm tumor and 13 of 15 positive lymph nodes. My lumpectomy came back with unclear margins. My oncologist told me I was stage 3A. He said this is still considered "early detection." I then started 8 cycles of chemo, had a bilateral matectomy, and 38 radiation treatments. The cancer is gone in my chest cavity, but has gone into the bones in my lower back. I am now on chemo again. My onc is very positive, says this is common, and we will get it under control. He hopes I will be finished with chemo again next month. I hope so too because I want my hair back. I teach school, so wear a wig or a hat. I also wear glasses and sometimes the pressure on the earpieces can be painful. No matter what stage, there are many many women who have survived and are a tremendous help on this site. Know that we are all here to help each other through whatever we have to do. Giving you a cyberspace hug.

  • Moopy23
    Moopy23 Member Posts: 1,751 Member
    Unexpected Path After Surgery
    Mariam, I also was staged 3A after surgery. Like you and others, I awoke to find that the results of my surgery were not as good as expected. The tumor turned out to be 6 cm, with 6/15 nodes positive. The cancer I had was hormone-negative, so I do not get hormone therapy. Had mastectomy, 6 rounds of chemo, and 33 radiation treatments. My first (God willing, the first of many) cancerversary was last Nov. 24. I am cancer-free, and my oncs. have a lot of hope that I will continue to be.

    As you will hear over and over again, chemo is do-able. My surgeon told me I was going to have a "difficult" few months ahead of me. Of course, that was an understatement! You will find immeasurable support, knowledge, and comfort from the members of this board, so please don't hesitate to come here for questions, concerns, or just to vent or share a laugh.

    Oh, and radiation is also do-able. As for radiation to the armpit, well, I no longer need to shave my left armpit or use deodorant there(unless people are not telling me something!) Most importantly, I feel more confident that no cancer remains there. I have some arm/shoulder issues from the surgery/rads but am working with a physical therapist to resolve those.

    My best to you, Miriam. If I can be of any other help, please let me know.
  • jbug
    jbug Member Posts: 285
    My diagnosis is different from yours, but wanted to welcome you. There are many here that can help and support you as you travel this road. This is a 24/7 place to find support. As you can see, lots of survivors!

    God Bless...

  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    I was stage 3a also. I had 4
    I was stage 3a also. I had 4 cycles of chemo before surgery or he would have had to do skin grafts. Tumors were 6cm, 3cm and another. Had two out of 15 nodes involved so had 4 more cycles of chemo after surgery and 6 weeks of radiation. This was back in 2003/2004. Hang in there. Hugs.
  • Eil4186
    Eil4186 Member Posts: 949
    Mariam, Try not to freak
    Mariam, Try not to freak out. I know it sounds scary, but there are many, many women w/stage 3 cancer who are doing well many years after treatment. You can overcome this, try to stay strong and think positive. Let us know what your oncologist says. Tc, Eil
  • New Flower
    New Flower Member Posts: 4,294
    jbug said:

    My diagnosis is different from yours, but wanted to welcome you. There are many here that can help and support you as you travel this road. This is a 24/7 place to find support. As you can see, lots of survivors!

    God Bless...


    Sorry for your pathology report. Stage IIIC
    that what I was told after my surgery. My husband said "it just a number and we are going to fight it, no matter what the number is". And we did treat my conditions like regular conditions, including surgery, reconstruction, 6 rounds of Chemo, 36 radiation, Tamoxifen.
    I know how do you feel it is shocking, you did not expect it, your Mammogram probably showed small tumor and you were thinking that by doing mastectomy you have been solving this cancer problem. Please look around we have many survivors here and believe you will be fine. Please focus on your treatment and do not think about number,
    Keep in touch
    New Flower