Understanding diagnosis.

Hello wonderful nurses!

I don’t want to gum up the telephone line with such a small question but am cursed with a need to understand minutiae so thought a quick post on here, which could be answered as and when, would help.

I have got a copy of a letter from the oncologist to my GP about moving me from Letrozole to Tamoxifen.  It is headed up Diagnosis and says:

Diagnosis: Right breast 15mm G1 IDC Er8 Pr6 HER negative, 0/2 nodes, T1cN0

So, to me that is saying my cancer was right breast, 15mm wide, was Grade 1, was an invasive ductal carcinoma which was ER+ 8/8 PR+ 6/8 HER-, 2 sentinel nodes were removed both clear.  So far, so understandable.

But do you know what T1cN0 means?  

i know that no LVI was seen, is that what this is about?

The pathology report also said “ the background breast tissue shows foci of lobular neoplasia which are clear of inked margins”.  I asked the oncologist if these foci would have been nuked by the rads and she said they would have been so I doubt it refers to that.

Any help gratefully received.

Thanks in advance,

T x

Hi Tigress 

Thanks for your post.  It’s never a problem for you to call the helpline to talk things like this through.  People often wonder and worry about the information in the letters from their team and call to ask us to explain. 

TNM cancer staging system is a way of recording cancer staging for any cancer. The T stands for tumour (size of cancer) and the N (lymph) nodes (number affected) and M metastases (any spread to other parts of the body).  T1c is one of the four groups that make up stage T1. Cancer Research UK explain this in more detail here  cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer/stages-types-grades/tnm-staging 

It sounds like you understand LVI (lymphovascular invasion) but you can read a little more about this and other features of breast cancer recorded in a pathology report such as ER (oestrogen receptor) and PR (progesterone receptor) in our Understanding your pathology results booklet.  Your oncologist has been able to reassure you about the foci of lobular neoplasia, but you can read more about it here

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through in more detail 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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