You're welcome, Suza,
When I was given the 'all clear', I just burst out crying and gave my breast surgeon the biggest bear hug ever. It was the combination of a massive release of tension and pure happiness that I was 'cancer free'. It is a moment I will never forget.
Enjoy that moment too when it is your turn to be 'cancer free'.
What your surgeon will do is remove the breast tumour with some of the surrounding breast tissue (the vital clear margins) and the sentinel lymph nodes only. The sentinel lymph nodes are the ones where the radioactive liquid or blue dye reaches first. Sometimes it is just one lymph node but it can be two or three depending on each individual patient.
Once the pathology department has investigated the tumour/surrounding breast tissue and sentinel lymph node(s) they will confirm whether the surgeon achieved the required clear margins (no cancer cells found present in breast tissue) and there were no cancer cells found in the sentinel lymph node(s).
Once you 'pass' the clear margins and clear sentinel node test, you are medically described to have NED which means No Evidence of Disease.
If your treatment plan includes radiotherapy or chemo after surgery, this is to make absolutely certain that any ultra microscopic stray cancer cells which may be hiding are mopped up.
Good luck with your surgery.
Wishing you all the very best.
I think this is a question for your Breast Care Nurse, she'll be able to discuss with you if any further treatment might be on the cards or if the lumpectomy will sort things out. If no other treatment has been discussed you might be all done, but it's best to talk to your BCN. They are used to us coming back with a' oh I forgot to ask ..' question.
Hope thing go smoothly, Caroluna