2 out of 5

My mother recently had a mastectomy 3 tumours were found and removed… MRI and bone scans were clear,however I’ve been told 2 out of 5 lymphnodes are abnormal. They will now proceed to remove the rest and test them and then go for chemo.

My question is … how bad is this? If scans were clear can’t they just remove effected lymphs? , how effective is chemo.

Hello The_son1

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June, moderator

Hi. Not sure if you’ve had a response. I am not a doctor and suggest you ask them but usually, whilst the scans show no evidence of spread if there is cancer in the lymph nodes then that increases the chances of the cancer being in the lymph system. It may not have spread anywhere yet but they can’t rule out that it might be on its way. Chemo will flush through her whole system and give the best chance of killing off any cells that may have escaped into the lymph system or blood stream. You’ll need to speak to the oncologist to find out what your mum can expect her chemo to achieve. Hope that’s helpful.

Hi I a mastectomy following the discovery of 2 lumps & all lymph nodes all from my left hand side. The bone scan n ct scan were clear meaning the cancer isn’t apparent anywhere else but by getting into the lymph system it has started to travel. (It was in 12 out of 16 nodes removed). Chemo means that any fragments already spread but not yet grown enough to show up, or any dividing cells will now be zapped n killed, without it I would always have worried it may not have all been eradicated. I’m really thankfully they’re doing everything they can to make sure it doesn’t come back. I was shocked to learn I have a 50% chance of being here in 10 years even tho the cancer had been removed so I want to do everything I can to make sure the bugger doesn’t come back…take the chemo… X

Hi Son_1 I would echo what the other posters have written. It might seem a bit OTT but it’s about prevention - if there are any stray cancerous cells in the body that aren’t able to be detected yet then chemo will get rid of them. I wondered the same thing myself when I diagnosed. I think it’s worth going though chemo and lymph node removal if it reduces the risk of cancer developing more and spreading.