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Clear Margins after Lumpectomy

zivagirl's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2010

My breast surgeon has quoted the following percentages in achieving positive margins afger first lumpectomy surgery:

Positive margin rates vary- my own experience is ~15%. A huge study in England recently showed an 18% rate. In the U.S> overall, probably between 15-30%.

I was astonished to hear it was so low after she relayed this to me after she told me I may have to undergo a second lumpectomy if positive margins were not achieved. During my first visit with her she recommended lumpectomy followed buy corrective surgery on the same day. After meeting w/the plastic surgeon he indicated corrective surgery would take place after lumpectomy. When I asked her about the discrepancy in surgical events she said corrective surgery could not take place if clear margins were not achieved - which I can understand, however I don't understand why it was communicated to me when we first met both surgeries would talke place same day. Now being somewhat doubtful of her expertise.......

As always appreciate input received from this board of brave-brave members.

alexlib_mom's picture
Posts: 46
Joined: Mar 2010

I have a whole thread going on this topic that's near the top. Different surgeons have different definitions of what is a clean margin. I too was surprised to see how large a percentage of women had additional surgery after lumpectomy because of margin issues. The frightening thing was how many of these women found additional cancer after the first lumpectomy. Not to scare you, but I'd definitely research margins before determining that they are clear. I will say with mine that they found additional cancer on the re-excision.

Good luck figuring this out. Remember to ask lots of questions!


Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2015

I am now facing the options available to me having established "clear margins". My oncologist told me to wait another 3 weeks before scheduling radiation. I was swollen and infected and had to take antibiotics to clear up the inflammation. Now the 3 weeks have passed and I have to do a mammogram again, I'm hoping no residual cells will be present. However, I just wanted to hear from anyone who might have developed pulmonary fibrosis due to radiation therapy and if so, how are you coping with it. Thanks! 

Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010

I have two conditions that are very similar to pulmnary fibrosis from something else. Here is a link to Mayo clinic that I think will be very helpful for you.

Do you have pulmonary fibrosis or are you just looking for information?



button2's picture
Posts: 423
Joined: Sep 2014

I got pulmonary fibrosis after radiation. I decided to take charge and with my doctor's ok, I started a running program. Extremely slowly over 2 years, I have progressed and will be running my first half marathon this April. I've never felt healthier in my life. My fibrosis is not extensive however, so this is not possible for everyone. Most people can do some walking though. Having a very healthy diet has helped me even more. I am grateful every day for my aggressive treatment decisions, incl. chemo before and after radical mastectomy and then rads and target therapy. Hugs, Anna

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