Vascular Invasion


I am getting myself into abit of a state as I just received a copy of the letter my surgeon sent to me GP and it states on the leter " vascular invasion present"??? When I saw my Surgeon before I had my ANC he said that my cancer was grade 3, 1/3 nodes had micro deposit of cancer and I am HER positive but said nothing of this vascular invasion?? I didnt know if anybody knew what this meant?
Not having a good day today!!!
Still dont have my results of ANC, due to get them next week?

Best wishes to you all

Donna xx

Hi Donna

Your path report seems quite similar to mine. I was dx march last year. My tumour was her 2 + and I had vascular invasion and 1 node effected. It is awful when you feel like you just keep getting little bits of extra ‘bad news’. Vascular invasion means there is evidence that the tumour cells had leaked into your blood stream. The important thing to know is that this changes nothing about how they will treat you, or what stage you are. They already know you had a lymph node involved so the cancer was on the move and Chemo is meant to mop up any cancer cells at all. I know it is scary but if it was really, really significant they would have told you and discussed the impact. It is just something else to help them understand your cancer.

Hopefully the rest of your nodes come back clear. Mine did and I didn’t just have a few cells I had 2.5 ml of cancer in the sentinel node. My tumour was 19 mm and it had spread to my nodes and I had vascular invasion. I remember reading about women on here who had much bigger tumours with no nodes and no invasion and wonder how come I did. But there comes a point where you realise you can’t change it, you accept it and fight it.

Am finished Chemo and rads and am on herceptin now.

Good luck with your treatment and I hope you get comfort out of knowing you found it before it got worse and it is out of you, gone, now you just have to stop it coming back.


Hi Donna,

As Midge says it means it’s got into the blood stream. I too have vas inv. I had small tumour, no affected nodes, but grade 3 cancer, clear margins not quite clear and vas inv. So I am half way through chemo 3 Fec followed by 3 Tax to kill off those pesky cells. rads etc to follow. As Midge says you have to accept the report and know that they will give you the best treatment to deal with your diagnosis.

Good luck with it all. You’l feel a bit better when you have all the results and know your exact treatment plan.

Good luck. Stella

Hi Donna,when I had just started chemo and thought I had just about got my head around it all I saw a letter to my GP which said lympho/vascular invasion present,and remember how scared and panicky I felt so I posted on here and had some lovely replys which made me feel better,but one in paticular I have posted below.

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

Its been 3 years since I was diagnosed and am doing fine.but I do remember how very scary it was at the begining (((big hug))) Melxx

Hi Donna
I had grade 2, 20mm tumour plus a bit of DCIS around it, with some lymphovascular invasion, SNB with clear nodes, strongly ER+ and PR+. I just had radiotherapy. First onc “offered” chemo but said it was up to me, 2nd onc (because I didn’t have confidence in the 1st one) said no way did I need chemo and she wouldn’t place too much emphasis on the lymphovascular invasion. I’ve done the rads and now on Tamoxifen and Zoldadex for around two years, then switch to an aromatase inhibitor for 3 years.
Sarah x

Vascular invasion can refer to either lymphatic system, or blood circulation - so anyone with lymphovascular invasion, I would think that is referring to lymph nodes alone - vascular on its own can mean that the tumour was linked in to the blood supply - and cells may have moved around the body in this manner. If the latter is the case, then chemo is certainly a good idea to mop up any microscopic cells that may or may not have escaped.

I did some research (and quizzed onc) on this because on reading my path report, I found that I had vascular invasion - my tumour was 3.2cm, grade 3, 1+ lymph node affected - and I’m now just about half way through chemo - 3rd FEC this afternoon, and 3 TAX to follow. The important thing to remember is that all this will have been taken into account on your treatment plan, and your prognosis etc, and that even though you might not have been aware of it, it doesn’t actually make any difference to what happens next - your onc. will have been aware of it, after all.

Certainly, no vascular invasion would have been fantastic news - but then would no breast cancer in the first place! It’s all desperately unfair, but we can get through this, and the women (and men) on this forum are a fabulous support - hang on in there. Deep breaths - we can do this together.

Sophie xxx

My path report was also similar to those above, 19 mm grade 3 tumour, spread to 2/15 nodes and I had vascular invasion. As a special bonus I also had ‘extra-nodal spread’.
I read the report only because they asked me to take my file up to the chemo suite, so I stopped off for a coffee and delved in - quite a shock as at that point I hadn’t been told much of this (later I was given fuller information).
But I am still around 7 years on to tell the tale!

Hi Donna

I am posting a link to the BCC publication written to help you understand your pathology results, you can read or order a copy here:*/changeTemplate/PublicationDisplay/publicationId/91/

Please feel free to call our helpline for further support and information on 0808 800 6000, the line is open weekdays 9-5 and Sat 9-2.

Take care

Hi Sarah,yours was one of the posts that I was refering to in my above post.really pleased that you are still doing soo well 7 years on :slight_smile:

I think that lymphovascular invasion means blood/lymph or both.

Sarah - it’s fab for me to read you’re still here and posting seven years on - would of course be brilliant anyhow, but particularly with your extra nodal spread… I only had one lymph node affected, with a small tumour in it (not just cells), but it was listed on the path report as 1+ - and my onc. explained that that meant it had come through the lymph node and into the capsule surrounding it - not great news, but at least I already knew my prognosis beforehand, so it didn’t change anything!

Love to hear the good stories… hope you’re doing well.

Sophie xx

Hi there

I also had vascular invasion, plus extra nodal spread like Sarah. I had 3 tumours in my nodes, and far from tiny: 8mm, 5mm, 4mm.

It is so scary to keep on finding out new bits of horrible info, as Deb says. But there is such a huge variety of combinations which amount to the same stats, and do remember that whatever the stats there’s always a chance you’ll be in the lucky percentage.

With my primary diagnosis I had a 7mm grade 2 tumour with no vascular invasion, no nodes, good margins, HER2 neg. But still it came back. Plenty of women have nodes and vascular invasion and never see nor hear from their cancer again, so we all just have to hope we’ll be ok.

Hugs and hope all further news is positive. xxxxx

Hi everyone, I cannot thankyou enough for all of your very supportive replies, It is just soo hard to get your head around everything that you are told ( maybe the surgeon did tell me). It hasn’t been a good day for me today my mind has been doing overtime, but your replies have really helped me to calm down and I thank you all for that!! I just feel soo tense all the time and start getting neck pains and feeling unwell then convincing myself that the cancer has spread. I wish you all the very best of luck and I thank you again and hope that Ican be of some support to you all ((((hugs)))) Donna xx


I had a mastectomy 4 months ago grade2 papillary carcinoma 15mm. There is some vascular invasion 1 node metastasis there is some extra capsular spread , oestrogen is positive MPI is 4.3. What does that mean 

I had radiotherapy and I’m taking letrozole side effects are awful

reading this report has really scared me