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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: 653
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: 4014
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


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