Full axillary clearance or radiotherapy, any advice please

hi holybones, i had my sentinal node biopsy done at the time of my mastectomy, 3 weeks after diagnosis, before i had chemo so hopefully the test results were acurate.

sorry to here you have secondaries and hope your doing ok at the min

Thanks for the advice, luv Pauline xxx

Hi everyone

Have just been reading your posts

I think I have a very simialr diagnosis to you Pauline. I had (what I believe was) a full clearance, they said theu removed 15 nodes in all, one was affected. This was done at the same time as a full mastectomy I have since had 6 x chemos (just finished) and will be starting radio therapy on the 28th.

It it strange that we all seem to have differing plans.

Hope you are all doing well

Jane xx

I had a lumpectomy and the sential node removed in April this year. I too was given the choice of what to do. I presume you will have made the choice by now. I opted for the removal of the other nodes - which were clear, I couldn’t live with not knowing if there were. I have had no lymphodema side effect (touch wood) and for me removal was the right decision.

Good luck


Anne, thanks, yes your right, have opted for rads on mine as i was advised as i only had 1/4 involved from the SNB rads was best option for me. Start rads on the 9th of nov. Glad your all sorted, had i not needed more surgery for reconstruction in the future i would have pushed for full clearance too.

Luv pauline xxx

I just had my planning meeting for rads. I had a level 2 dissection, 17/17 nodes affected and removed. Rads they are doing breast, collar bone but not I think the axilla. I am beginning to worry that they should I read that if level II nodes are infected then either level III node removal or radiotherapy is recommended but I am getting neither and my cancer is very aggressive (grade 3, stage 3 triple neg). Has anyone else been in a similar position any thoughts?


I saw the Oncologist yesterday about my radiotherapy. I had full axillary clearance which showed cancer cells on level I and level II but none of level III. I am not going to have radiotherapy on my armpit as well. My oncologist was clear that this wasn’t necessary and would increase my risk of lymphodema to one in three.
He did say that there is no consensus about what areas to radiotherapy and that different hospitals will take different approaches.

TEK - I would be asking about the rationale for their approach. It is certainly not too late and I’d give your Oncologist a call so you can be reassured on this.

I find it all of this quite worrying as you have to hope that your Oncologist/radiologist takes the optimum approach for you - I guess there is insufficient research evidence to be certain (?).

Best wishes to all with your treatment
Elinda x

Tek, i start rads at same time as you, 9th nov. I had SNB with 4 nodes removed, 1 was involved. i had to choose between clearance or rads. as only 1 was involved we decided on rads. i was told my hosp wont do both because of risk of lymphodema. Hope you get some answers to your worries, think i would feel the same too.
I have a different worry to you, i had my planning and the 3 dots were done on my chest area. i am worried that they may have forgot about my lymph nodes as when i met my onc he read my notes and someone had wrote i have had ‘full clearance’ obviously i put him right but what if the rads team have read that too. I am just telling myself i have time to check it out when i start rads.

Good luck everyone, luv pauline xxx