lymphovascular invasion

hi i didnt know which thread to post on but as i am half way through chemo i thought here will do
i had 17mm cancer grade 2 er+ 1 node positive thought i was doing really well being positive and all that then found out that i had lymphovascular invasion as well looked on the internet and have scared myself i have not asked about my prognosis as am to scared help

love mell

Hi Mell

I am sorry to read of your diagnosis. I am sure you will soon receive lots of helpful advice and support from the other forum users, in addition, you are welcome to contact our freephone helpline on 0808 800 6000 where you are able to talk to someone in confidence about how you are feeling at the moment. The line is open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm, Saturdays 9am - 2pm

I hope this helps

Kind regards
BCC Facilitator

Hi Mell

I’m really sorry to hear about your diagnosis and I know you can really scare yourself silly by looking up stuff on the internet but remember we’re all individuals and respond differently to treatment and have different outcomes so please don’t be too disheartened and don’t believe everything you read. Anyway breast cancer treatment has come a long way over the past few years and some of the stuff you read is out of date and newer treatments mean people’s chances are much higher.

I also didn’t ask about my prognosis (I was diagnosed in June) and I still don’t want to know. I remember telling the consultant and oncologist to only tell me things that I really needed to know because I felt I couldn’t deal with it if it wasn’t positive news.

Anyway like I said hold onto the positive things such as the newer treatments which I mentioned above.

Hoping your chemo does its job and gets rid of the nasty things.
Big hugs
Ruby xxxxx

Hi Mell - Not sure if it is the same but I remember reading my notes (stupid I know) when left in the consulting room on my own and found out I had quite a lot of vascular invasion - which when I asked what it meant scared me, but that was 4 and a half years ago and I am still going strong. I had a 14mm lump stage 2 grade 2 er+ve pr+ve and 1 node involved so similar to you. Remember things you read on the internet can be quite generic and everyone is different. Chemo will be killing off all those stray cells so try not to worry too much - I know much easier said than done!!

take care

sarah x x x

Hi Mell. I’m another with a fairly similar diagnosis to you - Grade 3 (in my case) one lymph node affected and lymphovascular invasion. According to my oncologist, and as Sarah above says, that just means that some microscopic cancer cells may have escaped into the lymph or blood circulation (it’s all on such a microscopic scale that they can’t even differentiate which is which). But that is exactly why you, and I and thousands like us are having chemotherapy, to “mop up” any cells that might be around the body. This is not unusual at all, and please try not to be too scared. I’m just concentrating on being treated and getting this behind me, which is by far the likeliest outcome for us. Good luck with the rest of your chemo. Love Sarah xx

Thank you so much for replying you have made me feel much better I am a bit of a panicker.My mum died of breast cancer many years ago and I always had the fear of getting it in the back of my mind.I know treatment is much much better now than it was when my mum had it and from now on I WILL be more positive and try to see the glass as half full not half empty.
thanks again love Mell

So glad that you are feeling a little better about this Mell. I am sure that we all have our good days and our bad days, but it is such a comfort to be in the company of such wonderful and compassionate people on this site! So sorry that your mum died of breast cancer, that must make it extra hard for you. Try to hold onto the fact that the reatments available to us now are better than they have ever been, and are getting better all the time. Let us know how you get on. Love Sarah

I’ve just done exactly what Melly2 did at the start of this thread - I was diagnosed last September and have been wondering about the word ‘lymphovascular invasion’ ever since but been too terrified to ask. Having stupidly decided I had to know, I did an internet search this morning (always a bad idea). I’m sure you all know but it felt like being stuck in a lift that suddenly drops four floors. I then registered here and was so relieved to hear the support in people’s entries. The chemo is fantastically grim but if it’s doing the job…
Charlotte x
P.S. would be grateful to hear if anyone else is ‘years down the line’ having had LVI

Hi everyone
Can I ask a question here, not sure whether this is the right thread. What’s the difference between cancer being spread through the lymph nodes or through the vascular system? My lymph nodes were clear then I read that it can also be spread through the vascular sytem. Are these the same or different. I kind of got my my hopes up when I found my lymph nodes were clear but have started to panic a bit when I read about ‘vascular invasion’
I had a lot of blood tests done pre op so was that what they were checking for or am I way off the mark? I have onc appointent in 2 weeks and having got my hopes up that maybe its been contained I don’t want any nasty surprises.
Thanks Trish

Hi Trish

Please feel free to call our helpline or use our ‘Ask the Nurse’ email service for an answer to your particular query, the number to call is 0808 800 6000 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm, the ATN service can be accessed via the ‘Support for you’ tab at the top of this page.

Best wishes

Hi Trish,
As I understand it, cancer cells can spread through lymph or blood and if a tumour shows lymphovascular invasion then the likelihood of this spread is increased. That’s not to say that cells have definitely escaped, just that there’s an increased likelihood. According to my BCN, if you have any lymph node involvement, you are likely to have some lymphovascular invasion otherwise how would the cells have got to the lymph node. I hope the moderator will correct me if my understanding of this is wrong.
Every step of this pathway is scary and each new bit of information takes a while to sink in. I hate all the terminology - I find it all so cold and frightening. Since you’ve got clear lymph nodes, that’s a very good sign so hold on to the positives and I hope the meeting with your onc goes well. As Seabird says above, the whole point of having chemotherapy is to mop up any nasties if there are any.
Charlotte x

Thanks Charlotte, I 'm working hard to hold on to all the positives. Its such a steep learning curve that just when I think I’ve understood one thing another word comes up and I realise I know so little.
Lucy (moderator) thanks I might try that on Monday

Hi mell

I’m another one with a similar diagnosis - 19mm Grade 3, 2 nodes and vascular invasion - and still ok nearly 4 years later. A several have said, its what the chemo is for, and with most people it seems to do the trick!


I had a 2.4cm tumour with vascular invasion and one node positive.I’m 4+ years down the line and still going strong! As I’m triple neg the chemo certainly did it’s job!

Josie x

H , just to add to this.
I had one node involved but according to my results no lymphovascular invasion. My BCN sad that the two systems ie lymph and blood are separate.

If anyone has been told otherwise I’d be interested to hear. seiing my oncologit tomorrow so will verify with him

Cally x

Hi all,

I’m exactly the same as Cally.

Margaret x

Good to hear from those of you who had lymphovscular invasion who are ‘years down the line’. Hearing from you is fantastically reassuring.
I spoke to my BCN and the BCC helpline about this and they both seem to think that if you have any node involvement you will have some LVI so I’d be interested to hear if this is not the case.
Charlotte x

I found out I had vascular invasion 4 months after dx. Neither the surgeon or onc mentioned it and it was only when reading about it on here that I decided to ask. I was terrified still am but onc says it is very common. Again don’t know whether he was just saying that. Ihave been trying not to come on the site for a bit as I think that if I am feeling down they make me feel worse. Came on last night and read this about vascular invasion and having a wobbly again !! Oh well serves me right must acess boards when I’m feeling strong. Love to everyone on here the weather certainley helps with the moods Eileen

Hi there,

Just like in Eileen’s case, neither my surgeon or onc mentioned LVI - I thought because they hadn’t mentioned it at DX that I didn’t have it. Again, like Sarah above, I read my notes as the file had been left by the chemo nurse, and discovered that I had lymphovascular permeation and perineural invasion. Don’t know whether there is a difference between ‘permeation’ and ‘invasion’ and have no idea what perineural invasion is. I gave up asking my onc questions because every time I asked one his reply was ‘its complicated’ - don’t know whether that was his way of saying ‘you really don’t want to know the answer to that one’!!! I have gained more info from this site than from the hospital but as yet haven’t seen anything about LV permeation or perineural invasion - would welcome any info on this.


HI asked my oncologist today and got a very lengthy answer that I wish I could have taped ! He went into detail about the pathology of the tumour and how it is analysed to see if there is any invasion . think its probably more complicated than he was telling me but by way of reassurance he did say in terms of things to be concerned about its at the bottom of the list , tumour size , lymph node involvement are of greater importance and treatment is no different .