I am prompted to post this after reading comments on here recently. There appears to be a school of thought that you are NED after surgery, if your lymph nodes weren’t compromised. Ergo the cancer has been cut out and follow-up treatments are simply precautionary belt & braces measures. 

I am yet to hear anything from my surgeon or onc, on the lines that I am NED; I am through surgery and rads and started on hormone therapy tablets…for 7 years.

Perhaps my team have concerns about recurrence (I was " Grade 3 highly aggressive") Perhaps my team simply don’t go down the NED-Road, and adopt the position you can’t really ever truly say that it is a ‘never again’ situation. 

What exercises me with this concept of the cancer being gone immediately after surgery, is it diminishes understanding of what the patient is still facing psychologically, suggesting we ought to be able to function as though nothing has happened, once we come round from the operation. In my opinion you are not “cancer free” after the op, you are only one step on. 

“Disease-free” is, I think, very different from ‘cancer free’ and clarity between the two is needed, in order to remove misconceptions which are counter  productive for the patient. 

Apologies, this is a bit of a rant, but my point is, if there was nothing to WORRY about, the day after surgery, why did I have months more of treatment, consultations and examinations. It just seems so illogical. Thank you for reading, if you got this far! 



Good point Wonky. It seems my surgeon told me I was cancer-free, despite being heavily node positive which he didn’t know at the time but he’d scooped the lot out so maybe he was right. I was in a GA fug but my husband told me of this. Then my oncology nurse mentioned it in passing, after my bone scan. Yet even now, after all treatments and some freedom from hospital appointments, I don’t consider I’m free of cancer. I need 6-monthly checks. I’m told the first 2-3 years are the greatest risk for me and to be alert for x,y and z. I don’t call that being cancer-free though officially I am NED. I join you in the rant. I’m beginning to get my head round the pernicious world of ‘cancer.’