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Axillary lymph dissection or just chemo?


Re: Axillary lymph dissection or just chemo?

Hi shooting star,

it is a worry when the professionals ask you for a decision. In my case in 2014 was diagnosed with 3 tumours, 2 lobular and 1 ductal, the lobular was the largest at 29mm. My surgeon removed the first sentinel which is standard practice now as research has shown that women were previously given a full axillillary node removal and it was found that most women didn't have any nodes affected, so now they do just the sentinel and if found positive then they will offer you a full node removal. In my case I had wide local excision breast conserving surgery. Then 4 weeks after surgery started chemo, then the surgery to remove the other nodes, then 4 weeks after that surgery radiotherapy for 30 sessions.  When the surgeon did the full node removal it revealed only the first was affected, with no evidence of scar tissue to the others so they cancer hadn't got to the others.


for me agreeing to the full node removal was reassurance because if it had got to the others they could plan for treatment in case it had spread to other parts of my body.


I was also told by my surgeon that the surgery to remove tumours is the biggest percentage of treatment followed by chemo, then radiotherapy then hormone therapy. 


Your breast care nurse should be able to support you with your decision, or ring the surgeons secretary and ask for another appointment, or if necessary a telephone conversation with him/her.


hope this helps

Community Champion

Re: Axillary lymph dissection or just chemo?

Shooting star - you could ask this question in the surgery section you may get some more responses or you could post in the Ask the nurses section for a medical opinion? Good luck whatever you chose .Jill.

Axillary lymph dissection or just chemo?

Hi I am feeling very confused  as I have just had results from my lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node op and it was a 29mm grade 3 tumour with 4mm cancer in lymph node. They only took the one so I don't know if others are affected and now I have to decide whether to have further axillary nodes removed or to start treatment and I keep changing my mind! My main worry is that further surgery will delay onset of treatment by at least another month and NICE guidelines recommend treatment starts within 31 days based on research showing a significant decrease in 5 year survival for those who started treatment after 61 days (20%lower than those who started after a month!)

what size tumour/cancer cells can chemo and radiation deal with eg only under 2mm? Is it best to know how many nodes to plan treatment or to just start as I am guessing chemo will be advised as it was grade 3 ...any help or experiences appreciated.