Safe margin clearance after a lumpectomy

Hi everyone. I have a question about the safe margin clearance after surgery. I recently had surgery to remove a 4.5 mm grade 2 invasive ductal carcinoma with DCIS. I was told that my margins were clear although a little close at the front (anteriorly), so I was initially pleased with the outcome. Yesterday I had a meeting with the radiologist prior to having radiotherapy and was shocked to hear that the front margin was only 0.5 mm. The guidelines appear to be that a margin of at least 1 mm needs to show clear from cancer tissue. I have been told I will be having a booster week of radiotherapy to address this issue but I’m really concerned that I ought be discussing whether to have a re-excision with my surgeon. I can’t speak to her at the moment as she is on holiday and my breast cancer nurse was really unable to help other than to say I should speak to her. Has anybody had a similar experience? Thanks so much and all the best for your own path.



Hello and welcome to the forum.  Cant help you with your query but I wanted to acknowledge your post.


Just a thought is there anyone else at the breast clinic that you could have a chat to about it letting them know what your concerns are so that you can get some peace of mind and understanding of how the boosters will help, or perhaps your oncologist to see what they say x



Dear Fenoillard, I am sure your surgeon will be happy to give you a copy of the information - you have the right to see it (without anyone’s authority…)  best wishes, girly


See below:


The Data Protection Act gives you the right to ask for a copy of the information an organisation holds about you. This right is commonly known as a subject access request (SAR).

Requests for medical (health) records

  • A request for information from health records has to be made with the organisation that holds your health records – the data controller. For example, your GP practice, optician or dentist.
  • For hospital health records, contact the records manager or patient services manager at the relevant hospital trust. You can find a list of hospital trusts on the NHS Choices website.




Dear Fenouillard, glad it was helpful.  I am a bit of a bore about this but have suggested a few times that ladies ask for a paper copy of their results whilst they are at the appointment - I know that I’m not so good at remembering everything that has been said to me plus I have read my report a few times when something cropped up that I wanted to check.

Hope you get on ok,  best wishes, girly.

Hi Fenouillard, very glad you have it at last and hope the MDT can put your mind at rest.


I am having a reduction on my good side this summer and my understanding is that the removed tissue is examined -  I will feel nervous waiting for the results, even though my January mammogram was clear.


all the best for your meeting, girly

I asked for copies of my pathology reports and my BCN had them waiting for me at my next appointment. I found it really useful to go back through them at home, I think I understand better what I had. Not everyone wants to know the details though, they seemed a bit surprised when I asked.