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micrometastasis in lymph node


Re: micrometastasis in lymph node

Hi Emw


Thank you for your post.


It is understandable you are feeling so stressed.


Micrometastasis means a very tiny area of breast cancer usually 0.2-2 mm was found in the lymph node under your arm. These are sometimes found in early breast cancer and does not mean the cancer has spread to other places.


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidelines for treating breast cancer. The current evidence in the guidelines shows that further surgery to lymph nodes does not give any extra treatment benefits for people with micrometastasis.


Because of the risks of lymphoedema  associated with treatment to lymph nodes, further surgery is not usually offered.


Currently the best recommended treatment is whole breast radiotherapy and adjuvant treatment like the hormone blocking tablets you have been recommended. Both treatments are to help prevent the cancer returning in the future.


Chemotherapy is sometimes used in early-stage breast cancer. The breast cancer team will consider the stage, grade, horrmone receptors , and risk of the breast cancer returning when deciding on chemotherapy. They sometimes use an online treatment decision making tool called. This helps them decide on the benefit of chemotherapy in each individual situation.


You may be reassured to know; a multi-disciplinary team of breast cancer experts meet regularly to discuss your treatment. They use NICE guidelines along with their individual expertise to ensure you receive the best and most appropriate treatment for you.


I am sorry you have been unable to contact your breast care nurse yet. When you do speak her, she will explain why your consultant has particularly recommended this course of treatment for you

In the meantime, if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions, do call our Helpline. 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).


If you would like a nurse to call you do complete this form. Ticking the box agreeing to a call back.


Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.


We will be closed on Thursday 2 June and Friday 3 June due to the bank holidays. We will be open as usual on Saturday 4 June.


Best wishes




Breast Care Nurse


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This thread will now be closed from further replies. If you have any additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please start a new thread.


Re: micrometastasis in lymph node

Hi @Slightly Lopsided 

Thank you so much for your message - it is so reassuring to hear that you also had a similar experience.  I am also 54!  I am waiting to get an appointment with an oncologist to discuss my radiotherapy treatment so will ask about having radiotherapy on underarm as well as breast.  I think I am so anxious at the moment I am worrying about everything! I did get to speak to a BCN in the end yesterday who did apologise that my surgery results were not explained fully to me.  I will also be going on hormone tablets, probably Letrozole although not sure when this starts. I have not heard of infusions of bisphosphonate (Zoledronic Acid) as well so more questions to ask!  Thanks again for your reply and I hope you are doing well. 

Slightly Lopsided

Re: micrometastasis in lymph node

Hello @Emw 


I'm sorry you find yourself here and that just when you have lots of questions, your consultant and BCN have gone AWOL-typical!I'm sure one of the nurses here will reply in the morning, and remember, you can phone the Breast Cancer Now helpline here if you want to talk further.


In the meantime, I hope my experience provides some reassurance.I had treatment for oestrogen receptive breast cancer  2 years' ago when I was 52 .Like you, my   biopsy results  after a lumpectomy showed micrometastisis in  just 1 sentinel node.My team didn't seem too worried about it  and although it was a surprise to me and obviously  unexpected, I decided I would follow their lead. I was given radiotherapy to a slightly wider area, including my underarm and collar bone area, for 15 sessions, rather than the new shortened  5 day course of radiotherapy which was being adopted at that time.They explained that this had been shown to reduce the risk of recurrence as effectively as further surgery to the lymph nodes. I am now taking Letrozole hormone therapy for 10 years and also having infusions of bisphosphonate (Zoledronic Acid) for 3 years -the latter was also to reduce the risk of recurrence as I had a positive lymph node.


I hope that helps and you get some answers soon.


Good luck! 


micrometastasis in lymph node


I was diagnosed with BC in April and had lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy in May. I had my post surgery appointment last week with a different consultant ( as mine was on holiday) and I was told margins all clear in breast which means no further surgery - just Radiotherapy on breast and hormone blocker tablets. However, also told micrometastasis found in 1 sentinel node.  I understood that if this happened it meant cancer had spread and I would need further surgery or chemo.  I was told this had not been recommended but consultant did not give me any more info.  I have since been stressing terribly about this as worried cancer is going to spread further.  I have tried to get to speak to my own consultant but she is not available until 9 June and can't get hold of my breast nurse. Can you advise whether it is normal not to have more treatment on lymph nodes if cancer found?  

Thank you