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Pathology results...


Re: Pathology results...

Hi there,

Just reading through some threads and wondering how things are going with your Mum. I am TNBC and just starting chemo...which I don’t think is working. They may skip to surgery 



Re: Pathology results...

Hey Gel,

Thankyou for your reply.

I’m struggling to find many people who still had active cancer in lymph nodes after neoadjuvant chemo, it seems we have just been unlucky. As you had yours removed first, chemo will blitz everything else, whereas we are left doubting that chemo worked it still in lymph nodes after finishing chemo.

Hoping the oncologist can offer more information.

I hope you are well and very best of luck for further treatment x


Re: Pathology results...

Hi Clare

Jaybro's right about not dwelling on the size. I had a Mx and ANC 4 weeks ago and the histology showed lot of difference in size (bigger) from the CT scan. And DCIS. Basically my BC was just not visible on mammogram and inconclusive from ultrasound because it was far back and in very dense (I was told that means young 😎) tissue. 

The surgery has removed it and with good margins. The 31 infected lymph nodes out of 48 did their job brilliantly. It was an enlarged one that sent me to my GP so I knew what was coming. CT and bone scans clear.

Anyway, BC and size- all done, parked, my focus now is on chemo - first yesterday.

My first oncologist appointment was reassuring in a funny sort of way, such a different breed to surgeons. My BCN told me to expect that!

Hope you're happier after your mum's appointment.


Gel x



Re: Pathology results...

Hiya Jaybro,

Wow thankyou for such a detailed and thorough reply.

My mum is very much of the attitude of “I don’t want to know anything, just do what you have to do and get me better”, whereas I’m slightly different and I want to read and know everything. 
She is unaware of any statistics. She hasn’t googled or read anything incase she reads something that frightens her.

I like your thinking about the lymph nodes and I actually had that down as one of my questions to ask the oncologist as to whether it was such a bad thing, because surely it just means they’ve done their job?

You are right, it doesn’t matter about the original estimates, although on a scan halfway through chemo, we were told it had reduced in size from 50mm to 43mm, so I was wondering if the estimates had been incorrect both times? But as you say, it’s all been removed now, so it doesn’t change anything.

No further treatments have been discussed besides radiotherapy so far, but my mum has an appointment with her oncologist next week, so hoping we will have more of an idea.

How long has it been since your treatment? And were you triple negative also or another type?

I hope you are keeping well and doing great xx



Re: Pathology results...

Hiya Amy,

thanks for your reply.

My mum will be having radiotherapy, but not sure on anything else. She has an appointment with her oncologist next week, so hopefully will find out more information. 

I’d like her to have everything they can give her, but I think my mum is tired now and just wants the treatment to be finished, so we will see.

Have you finished all your treatment now? I hope you are doing well and feeling great! Xx


Re: Pathology results...


It must be very hard to support a parent through something like breast cancer (though my mother had it twice and failed to mention the first till she’d almost finished treatment - she was of that hardy generation who “didn’t make a fuss”!!!). I’m so glad she wasn’t around when I was diagnosed at 67. She’d have blamed herself. What does your mother feel about all the statistics? Perhaps she has adopted the approach I adopted - head down, get through it, ask as few questions as possible and trust the experts.

I just wanted to say that radiotherapy makes a significant difference. My oncologist maintained it was the most effective of all the treatments - this was halfway through the most awful experience with chemo so his pronouncement wasn't well-received at the time!

The other thing I wanted to comment on was about “cancer in the lymphatic system.” It seems to me that that is a healthy thing. I had 19 out of 21 lymph nodes infected but no tests have revealed any spread beyond. Thank god for lymph nodes. They are there to catch and contain infection and that’s what they’ve done. Maybe you could change your perspective and, instead of seeing it as a threat, see it as your mother’s body acting as it should when under such a ruthless attack. 

I accept I may be being naive but does it matter that the original estimates were out? The fact is, now she has had her mastectomy and axillary clearance, your mother is cancer-free and that’s something to be celebrated (though, having gone through the same gruelling chemo regimen as her, she may not feel like celebrating yet!). She has further adjuvant treatment ahead to reinforce the chemo, plus she’ll be started on an AI for 5 or 10 years and maybe have zometa infusions every 6 months. It’s gruelling but it seems to work. Worrying about her prognosis and % improvements in tumours that were removed with clear margins (and I suspect you’re looking into potential survival rates?) isn't going to help you, let alone your poor mother. Try to trust the experience of your mother’s MDT?

No one has a guarantee that cancer treatment is going to work/going to keep one cancer-free for the rest of one’s life. We really have to live with hope. This feels a bit sanctimonious, for which I apologise, but it does reflect how I feel - if the results show the treatments are working, be glad and don't waste precious energy fretting about what you can do nothing to change.

I wish your mother all the best with her radiotherapy. If it helps, I found it a doddle after chemo xx


Re: Pathology results...

Hi. I had my mastectomy and axillary  clearance at the beginning of January. Before, my consultant and surgeon had said they were pleased with my progress and my lump felt smaller. But apparently when they took out the tumour there was a 'significant' amount of active cancer cells,  which meant i had only had a partial response to chemo. I couldn't understand it either because the tumour felt smaller! I'm classed as high risk of recurrence. But I think it's good that they got clear margins for your mum and radiotherapy should hopefully clear any cells that could be left over. That's what I was told! Will she be having any other treatment too? 


Pathology results...

Hi Everyone,

So my mum was diagnosed with TNBC last July. Tumour was 5cm and 2 suspected positive lymph nodes. She completed neoadjuvant chemo of 9 x weekly PC and 3 cycles of EC chemo. She had an MRI scan halfway through and the tumour (after 9 weekly PC) had only shrunk by 5 mm, which we were a bit upset about.

After chemo, she had a single mastectomy and full axillary node clearance.

Today we received the results from the pathology report, and the tumour was actually 6 cm, and 4/18 lymph nodes contained cancer.  80% of the tumour was dead, with 20% residual, and they got clear margins.

Not sure how to feel about these results. I'm thinking either they got the measurements of 5cm incorrect, or the tumour grew during EC chemo, and also spread to more lymph nodes?

I'm pleased about the clear margins, but also struggling to understand how the volume can decrease by 80%, but it can also grow at the same time?? all very confusing.

It has been suggested radiotherapy next for chest wall and collar bone, but no mention of Xeloda/Capecitabine, which I thought was given for residual cancer.

Everyone I have spoken to have replied with a sorry/pity look on their face and I'm worried this does not provide a good outlook for the future, especially as cancer in lymphatic system.

Any advice/positive stories of something similar?

Thanks 🙂 x