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Axillary lymphnode and mastectomy tissue discrepancies

Sharon_8 Member Posts: 1
edited January 2022 in Just Diagnosed

Please I've run out of thought and ideas and feel the need to be guided by the thought and ideas of others.

April last year I noticed a lump in my breast, consulted a doctor, a biopsy was done and after the test I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma (although no lymphovascular invasion was seen) later on I underwent radical mastectomy on the affected breast(right side); after my surgery I started chemotherapy (while waiting for the result of the mastectomy breast tissue sent for investigation) and I have been on Chemotherapy since then.

Last month I noticed a lymphnode in my armpit, spoke to the doctor about it and he said the lymphnode has to be biopsied, an axillary lymphnode excisional biopsy was done and the tissue sent to the lab.

Moving forward, my mastectomy tissue result was finally ready after months of recuts and repeated checks at about the same time the axillary lymphnode tissue result got ready for collection as well, so I picked both results but the varying reports have got me more worried.

The result of the mastectomy tissue reports:

-benign epithelial cells

-no malignant cell seen

-unremarkable resection margins

- mastectomy specimen :no residual cancer seen.

Axillary lymphnode result:

-malignant epithelial cells

-multiple mitotic figures (5-10/ 10hpf)

-no extracapsular tissue involvement

-positive axillary lymph node (metastatic lymphadenopathy of right breast cancer primary).

The more I look at the results, the more confuse I become...

Would I be needing radiotherapy? (considering the affected lymphnode)

Why does the mastectomy result show no residual cancer? (whereas that was the primary cause)

NB: I didn't do immunohistochemistry (it was not requested)

My next appointment is next week.

I'm curious

I'm anxious


  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 509
    edited January 2022

    Hi dear. So sorry you are going through this.

    So your biopsy shows cancer. Then, without any cancer treatment, they do a mastectomy and there is no cancer. Why did the mastectomy tissue need months of recuts and repeated checks? Normally a week or two after surgery you get the results of the pathology. Is it possible that this is a mistake?

    Then you started chemo, and the lymph node that was not palpable before chemo then becomes palpable and tests positive for cancer, like it grew while on chemo. The cancer in lymph node is upsetting but no extra capsular involvement is a good feature.

    This sounds complicated. Maybe you can add a timeline of each event and each treatment, either in your signature or in your next message?

    And again you have all my sympathy and hope your situation gets straightened out soon.

  • ab45
    ab45 Member Posts: 153
    edited January 2022


    I am so sorry, I had lymph nodes positive after numerous scans showing clear. My problem was I have big arms and the cancer was hiding behind fat...I hope you get answers soon.please give an update when you can. My thoughts are with you!

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,000
    edited January 2022

    Sharon - when you get a minute, do go to "my profile" and enter your diagnosis & treatment to date. It helps everyone to give more accurate responses.