Have second operation to remove lymph nodes?

Hi everyone

My mum has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has had a full mastectomy 4 weeks ago they also took the sentinel node which they thought was clear but after more tests show it was positive she has been advised to have a second operation to remove the rest of the nodes.

She is very sore under her arm and has cording, she is wondering if they are thinking of giving her hormone treatment or chemo would this second operation really be necessary?

can anybody advise?

also it is now 4 weeks and she still does not have full results of all breast tissue - is this normal?

hi Hels, Sorry to hear about your mum. My sister is in a similar situation to your mum. she was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer and a positive node biopsy. She was told by her breast surgeon that as the cancer was definately in the nodes she would need an axillary claerance. she has had neoadjuvent chemo and a lumpectomy but the surgeon took samples from her armpit. Now she has been told no clear margins, so mastectomy but her 5 lmph nodes came back clear so she dosnt have to have node clarance but can have radiotherapy. SHE is left to decide before thursday!!. The breast care nurse told us that it depends on how many nodes are affected to wheather they remove them all. she also said that in my sisters case overall survival would be the same chance if she had radio or full removal of nodes

Different surgeons have different views on node removal but from my reseach it appears to suggest more are in favour of full clearance if the lymp nodes are affected. Your mum really needs to speak to her doctors or breast care nurse to find out what further treatment she is havin and how many of her nodes are affected. MY sister had to wait just over 2 weeks for her results
but they dont yet have results of her2 status

IT is all decisions that are so difficult to make. talk to others and good luck with whatever you decide to do .

Hi there, my mother (78 years old) is in a very similar situation, she had a full mastectomy for grade 2 ductal last week and has recovered really well, early indications from scan was that lymph nodes were clear. One was removed during surgery and we were told yesterday that unfortunately it was positive. She has been given two options. The first is surgery for removal of all lymph glands. The second is to take part in a POSNOC trial, this means she will be  randomised between two treatments: surgery + drug therapy or drug therapy only. The drug therapy was described to her as tablets.

She has been given a provisional surgery date of 21st Jan and has to decide by phoning the “radomiser” on Monday 22nd Dec which option she takes.

I personally would like more information with regard to the “drug therapy” and what this entails and could it even be chemo. Also I believe NICE guidelins are that the remaining lymph nodes in the armpit should be removed by surgery (axillary clearance), or irradiated (axillary radiotherapy). Radiotherapy was not discussed. I know it is Christmas and staff have family lives too but we were the last appointment in a long clinic in the last clinic before Christmas and I don’t feel we were given all the information we would normally have had.

Hi Tudalen and welcome to the BCC forums

Along with the support you will find here please feel free to call our helpliners to talk your queries and concerns about your mums treatment plan over, lines are open today 10-2 and during the week 9-5 on 0808 800 6000

Take care
Lucy BCC