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Topic: left breast Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy or not?

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Jul 11, 2018 11:19AM - edited Jul 11, 2018 11:20AM by gwydiana

gwydiana wrote:

I need help with a decision. I have the ability to have the left sentinel lymph node removed and biopsied even though there is no definitive cancer in the left breast but the breast MRI did see one small 2mm spot that may in fact be cancer. I will be having a double mastectomy next week.

Since Pleomorphic Lobular is so hard to pinpoint, they simply don't know if the left breast is affected. I could go forth with the left sentinel removal/biopsy but then spend the rest of my life not being able to have blood pressure taken in either arm and no blood draws in either arm without significant risk of lymphedema.

Or, I could wait and see and if they need to remove the lymph nodes in the future, they would have to do it without the contrast dye injection as there will be no breast tissue to absorb the dye and send it to the sentinel lymph node. They would have to take a significantly larger amount of tissue since they wouldn't be able to pinpoint the exact location of the Sentinel......

Pleomorphic Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Dx 4/6/2018, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 4/25/2018 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 6/13/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Jul 11, 2018 11:32AM tsoebbin wrote:

I did develop LE in both arms doing exactly what you describe, SNB on my uneffected side. Would I do that again? Yep. I have confirmation cancer was not in my nodes. YES, I have to deal with LE and it is a bugger, but worth the piece of mind to me.

Don't get me wrong... LE is not fun, but it's not the end of the world for me. Worries about cancer kept me up at night before the results of the SNB tests. It's not perfect but it's my story.


Such a hard and personal decision. Hugs to you.


I am 54 and Love Travel, My Family and Friends, and Life in General! Dx 4/4/2016, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/10/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 5/11/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/27/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right

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