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Is it considered metastatic cancer?

Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2000

A doctor who works for a governmental licensing agency said that breast cancer that has been found in the lymph nodes is considered metastatic cancer. My doctor had previously told me that it is not considered metastatic cancer unless it has been found in other organs. Does anyone know the answer to this question?

pamtriggs's picture
Posts: 407
Joined: Sep 2000

My oncologist considers positive nodes are NOT metastatic cancer. His definition of metastatic disease is cancer cells that have travelled to other organs or sites (chest wall, lungs. liver, brain or bones. Not all doctors agree with each other but it seems to me that positive nodes being considered metastaic disease would make 90% of us suffering from metastatic disease & the statistics do not bear this out. Hope this helps. Love to you. Pam

Posts: 16
Joined: May 2001

Nodes found positive for cancer in the area of the affected breast do not indicate metastasis. HOWEVER, supraclavicular lymph nodes (the nodes above your collar bone) DO indicate metastatic breast cancer, as it did in my case. The cancer has travelled from the locally advanced site to distant parts of the body. I have metastases to the supraclavicular lymph nodes as well as the lungs, although the tumors have stabilized.

You should consult the Physician's Desk Reference on OncoLink if you want to be certain and read with your own eyes from a reputable source.


Posts: 706
Joined: Jul 2001

Hi Wellthy: As I understand it, there is local, regional and distant met categories. Local and regional being the breast and surrounding tissue, including the axilla lymph nodes.

Love, light and laughter,

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