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Topic: one lymph node positive, mastectomy with radiation or not

Forum: Stage II Breast Cancer — Meet, share and support others with Stage II Breast Cancer

Posted on: Nov 14, 2017 10:52AM

Singapore75 wrote:



Hi ,

I am new here. I am 42 years old, triple negative, stage 2 , 1/26 lymph node involvement. I had lumpectomy with recon back in March 2017. I finished my chemo 7 weeks ago. Recently I got BRCA1 result and it is positive though nobody in my family has breast cancer. My genetic councelor suggested to go for double mastectomy and oophorectomy. Radiologist suggested if I go for double mastectomy, I won't need radiation. He said as I got wide clear margin, 25 lymph nodes taken out for 1 affected node, I would be safe. I went for 3 radiologists opinion; 2 of them said same thing, one suggested radiation must. I am confused to think how safe I would stay without radiation. I am worrying about lymph node area as there won't be any protection without radiation. It's just my thinking.What should I do now? I have to take decision within this week. Any suggestion would be really appreciated.

DX: 3/11/2017, IDC, 1.9 cm, stage 2, grade 3, 1/26 node, triple negative. Surgery: Lumpectomy 3/16/2017, Chemo: FAC 3 cycle, 12 weekly doses of Taxol & Carboplatin
DX: 3/11/2017, IDC, 1.9 cm, stage 2, grade 3, 1/26 node, triple negative. Surgery: Lumpectomy 3/16/2017, Chemo: FAC 3 cycle, 12 weekly doses of Taxol & Carboplatin
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Nov 14, 2017 06:38PM gb2115 wrote:

Any idea how much cancer was in the one positive node?

That's a terrible decision to have to make. I had my lymph nodes radiated, 1 out of 3 was positive. I wouldn't have felt comfortable not getting the radiation, but they only took 3 nodes, so that was a given for me. I wonder sometimes if stuff is still lurking.


Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen.
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Nov 14, 2017 07:17PM mike3121 wrote:

Just to relate my wife's experience along the same line. She was diagnosed Stage 4 right off in Dec 2012. Large tumor in the right breast with cancer in one lymph node and a small met to her spine. She was given AC and would have had Taxol, but suffered an extreme allergic reaction to it. Oncologist recommended against a mastectomy. After all that she was on AL's for a bit, but too much SE's. She was then put on tamoxifen. Well, after 8 months her estrogen positive (ER+PR+HER2-) cancer in the breast went crazy and was removed. Biopsy showed her 100% estrogen positive grade 1 had, at it's core a 30% estrogen positive, grade 3 tumor. 19 lymph nodes were removed and 9 of those had triple negative breast cancer.

Right now she's on Xeloda as she's got numerous triple negative mets to her spine and hip bone. Maybe, if the oncologist had recommended having the breast removed right off none of this other stuff would have happened.

Dx 11/12/2012, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 1, 9/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Chemotherapy Other Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 14, 2017 07:18PM Singapore75 wrote:

Hi gb2115,

Thanks for your reply. My 1 positive lymph node had 2.5 micromet. I forgot to write my tumor grade was 3 and after chemotherapy I did petscan. It came clear. If I take radiation, my affected breast and lymph node would get protection but not other breast. If I go for double mastectomy, lymph node would left unguarded. So I am overwhelmed by this situation. after talking 3 radiologist, I am still feeling helpless

DX: 3/11/2017, IDC, 1.9 cm, stage 2, grade 3, 1/26 node, triple negative. Surgery: Lumpectomy 3/16/2017, Chemo: FAC 3 cycle, 12 weekly doses of Taxol & Carboplatin
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Nov 14, 2017 09:51PM Singapore75 wrote:

Hello Mike3121,

Thanks for your reply. I am so sorry to know your wife's situation. A big hug for her. I am ready to do double mastectomy because of my BRCA1 positive, just unsure about the radiation. I took 3 radiologist 's opinion, 2 of them don't want to give radiation after mastectomy. I am just having hard time to accept staying without radiation after mastectomy, there is a time limit for effectiveness of radiation and i am losing it. I have to take decision in this week.Either i can take radiation and keep the breasts for a year and do mastectomy or straight go for mastectomy without radiation. I am just worried about lymph node areas

DX: 3/11/2017, IDC, 1.9 cm, stage 2, grade 3, 1/26 node, triple negative. Surgery: Lumpectomy 3/16/2017, Chemo: FAC 3 cycle, 12 weekly doses of Taxol & Carboplatin
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Nov 14, 2017 11:55PM mike3121 wrote:

My wife tolerated radiation okay. The last week was the worst, like a bad sunburn. Everyone is different. Radiation Dr. said cancer coming back to a radiated spot is less than 5%. Her experience anyway.

Dx 11/12/2012, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 1, 9/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Chemotherapy Other Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 15, 2017 12:42PM gb2115 wrote:

They can't do double mastectomy and still radiate your lymph nodes?

Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen.
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Nov 15, 2017 03:40PM muska wrote:

I would say being BRCA1 positive you need a mastectomy. Why can't you do mastectomy first and leave the radiation question open for now? Mastectomy might provide more information.

Dx at 54 Dx 5/9/2013, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 7/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 6/13/2013, LCIS, Both breasts Surgery 6/13/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/25/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/20/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 3/12/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 3/23/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes, Bone
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Nov 15, 2017 04:24PM Cpeachymom wrote:

Maybe I misunderstood. If they took out your lymph nodes, why would they radiate them? They're not there. They wouldn't do the lymph nodes on your good side anyway. You can still have radiation after mastectomy, I did. But it would probably only be if they found something in your nodes on the other side, or LVI. I wish you the best, whatever you choose!

39 at Dx. Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.' The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.' Dx 6/21/2017, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/5/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 9/11/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 9/18/2017 Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Nov 15, 2017 04:26PM Cpeachymom wrote:

Also, be careful if choosing to delay mastectomy until after radiation. Radiated skin does not heal well and you may have unnecessary complications

39 at Dx. Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.' The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.' Dx 6/21/2017, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/5/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 9/11/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 9/18/2017 Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Nov 15, 2017 09:28PM Singapore75 wrote:

Thanks all for your response.

Gb2115, Radiologist think my tumor was small 1.9 cm, 1 lymph node affected. If I want to keep breasts, I would be benefitted from radiation. As I want to do BMX, I wouldn't be be benefitted from radiation after BMX.. Their opinion: lesser benefit than complications. BS said as he took out 25 lymph nodes for 1 affected, I shouldn't be worry. It's just my fear torturing me :-( Also effectiveness of radiation is good till 4-12 weeks after chemo. I am on 8 weeks. Either I have to start radiation now or after BMX there won't be any time left for radiation.... If any option comes

muska, that's a good information. MX might provide more information as you never know if something hidden there.

Cpeachymom, Thanks for your suggestion and wish. I am not thinking that they would do radiation on my good side. I am just thinking though surgeon took out affected one and extra 25 for precaution, is there any chance to pop up new invasion from that site as that area wouldn't be radiated. I know Dr knows best, but you know how fear eat us ! May be I am overreacting. :-(

DX: 3/11/2017, IDC, 1.9 cm, stage 2, grade 3, 1/26 node, triple negative. Surgery: Lumpectomy 3/16/2017, Chemo: FAC 3 cycle, 12 weekly doses of Taxol & Carboplatin

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