Lymph nodes not removed

I had a masectomy / reconstruction chemotherapy and radiotherapy i didnt have my lymphnodes removed as there was only speckles in the first node and the second node was clear so they said that they could be over treating me if they removed all of them ,2 1/2years later im still terrified its going to come back in my lymph nodes and constantly pressing and checking some days i think theres a lump and other days i think no theres not is there a high chance it would come back in the lymph nodes i so wish they had taken them out now .

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Dear Diggens,

We have all been in the same boat, unfortunately never stop worrying after a cancer diagnosis, give you breast cancer team a call for chat and hopefully some reassurance.

Try not to worry (easily said) wishing you well going forward.

Hugs Tili :rainbow::pray::rainbow::pray:

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Hi Diggens,
I am the same. Mastectomy, chemo and radiotherapy. I had 3 lymph nodes removed and some cancer in one of them.
I was advised I could have them removed, have radiotherapy or do nothing. I was told radiotherapy would deal with anything that might be there. I believe there are studies that show radiotherapy is as good as removal with less chance of lymphoedema.

I had a lot of sleepless nights coming to my decision and am still trying to move on following my diagnosis and treatment. My diagnosis was June 2021.

Best wishes


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Hi gillie thankyou so much for your response that makes me feel at ease a little i had 3 weeks of radium too ,yes i was march 2021 and unfortunately still battling mentally everyday but times a healer so they say im hoping that is the case …thankyou :smiling_face:

Hi Diggens

Thank you for posting.

It is understandable that 2 and half years from your treatment, you are anxious about your lymph nodes and risk of cancer coming back. As @Tili and @gillieb mention, nearly everyone who has been treated for cancer worries about it coming back (recurrence) and you’re not alone in being anxious about this. The uncertainty and fear of breast cancer returning is very real. At first, every ache or pain may frighten you, but most people find the anxiety lessens as the time goes on.

It is normal practice to have a sentinel lymph node biopsy if tests before surgery show no evidence of the lymph nodes containing cancer cells. If the results show there are cancer cells in the sentinel lymph node, depending on how much is found you may be recommended further treatments such as surgery to remove some or all of the remaining lymph nodes, radiotherapy to the underarm or no further treatment to the underarm as long as you are having radiotherapy to the breast and chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

You say there were only speckles in the first node. Your doctor may have used the term isolated tumour cells (ITCs) or micrometastases when discussing your results. If you are diagnosed with ITCs or micrometastases, you will not usually need any further treatment for your underarm as recommended by the Nice guidelines which you find here.

Many people are surprised at how emotional they feel when their treatment finishes. Adapting to life after treatment can be difficult and often the need for information and support continues.

Some people may benefit from talking therapy, such as counselling. You can speak to your GP or treatment team about this. Mindfulness can also be helpful.

Talking to someone who has had a similar experience can often be helpful. Our Someone Like me service can match you with a trained volunteer who’s had similar experience to you. You can be in touch with your volunteer by phone or email and they can share their personal experiences to answer your questions, offer support or simply listen to how you are feeling. You can ring the Someone Like Me team on 0114 263 6490 or email them at, so they can then match you to your volunteer.

You may be interested in getting support with Life after cancer.

Dr Peter Harvey a Consultant Clinical Psychologist wrote about how people can feel after treatment has finished. Although the article is many years old and not specific to breast cancer the emotional issues discussed remain relevant. You can read this through the following link

After the treatment has finished - Then what?

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen to your concerns, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK - prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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