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Topic: Scared....one more node found positive after chemo

Forum: Stage III Breast Cancer — You are not alone. Meet others who have Stage III breast cancer.

Posted on: Apr 17, 2017 09:17PM - edited Apr 17, 2017 09:25PM by stephilosphy00

stephilosphy00 wrote:

I went back to have another post-chemo ultrasound today which was done by a very experienced radiologist. Devastatingly, She found another node, which is right next to the one proven positive before chemo, also has thickening cortex (she said both nodes show less thickening compared to pre-chemo ultrasound) . Both nodes are very tiny and very close to each other. I have no idea how this happens -before chemo all scans proved just one node positive, now after 5-month of chemo I might have 2+ nodes positive?

Now my thinking is the 2nd positive node was there already from the beginning but it was just too tiny to be detected by inexperienced radiologist and scans. I am also worried that these two nodes are actually "clumped" together which indicate worse prognosis.

I really need some hope now. All replies are appreciated!

Dx at 29. Original mass 2.5 to 3 cm. Biopsy MRI and PET/CT confirmed 1 node involved. Ki-67 score 7.5%. ER100% PR100%. Genetic testing negative. Restaged to stage IIA post surgery. Dx 11/9/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/18/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/10/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 5/21/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/11/2017 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 7/12/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Zoladex (goserelin)
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Apr 17, 2017 10:26PM - edited Apr 17, 2017 10:28PM by Kicks

I did neoadjuvant chemo (4 DD A/C) and had 19 positive nodes at UMX. I then did adjuvant 12 weekly Taxol. The idea (according to my Dr) was to shrink the IBC with A/C and get good margins so that surgery had a chance of 'getting it out' during surgery. Then to do adjuvant 12 weekly Taxol to 'get' any cells that had 'escaped' during surgery. That is not what is usually done when neoadjuvant chemo is done butt makes a lot of sense to me. Worked for me - 7+ yrs NED with IBC.

Don't have a clue about what your options would be having done 2 different neoadjuvant chemo.

Dx 8/7/2009, IBC, Stage IIIC, 19/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/24/2009 AC Surgery 10/20/2009 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/10/2009 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/3/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Apr 17, 2017 10:35PM - edited Apr 17, 2017 10:36PM by TectonicShift

The ultrasound is not reliable.

I had an ultrasound prior to surgery and was told all the nodes looked good; they saw no infected nodes.

After surgery I found out I had 11 infected nodes.



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Apr 17, 2017 11:04PM stephilosphy00 wrote:

I am expecting to join the stage 3 club after surgery.

Dx at 29. Original mass 2.5 to 3 cm. Biopsy MRI and PET/CT confirmed 1 node involved. Ki-67 score 7.5%. ER100% PR100%. Genetic testing negative. Restaged to stage IIA post surgery. Dx 11/9/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/18/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/10/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 5/21/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/11/2017 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 7/12/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Zoladex (goserelin)
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Apr 18, 2017 12:13AM - edited Apr 18, 2017 02:37AM by TectonicShift

Whatever happens node wise, your Ki67 of 7.5% and your ER + of 98% are both very favorable numbers.

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Apr 18, 2017 06:50AM SSInUK wrote:

Hi there - I know it's scary; but look a little further on this forum and you will find threads with many of us who had positive nodes post chemo.  I was told there was nothing abnormal left on ultrasound (v experienced consultant) - and it turned out I had 5 with gross disease.  It's a big thing to get your head round - but there are many survivor stories here.  Strongly HR+ cancer very rarely gets to PCR with neo-adjuvant chemo, hormonals are a major part of the treatment.  I know you're young, but ask questions about the relevance of ovarian surpression in your case, in addition to anti ER drugs.  You are still engaged in the battle against this, you have other tools.  Breathe - its hard, but you get used to it.  Read the threads with other long term survivors in the stage 3 forum for comfort. x

Dx 11/2014, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 3/30/2016, Left, Stage IIIC Surgery Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Apr 18, 2017 07:54AM stephilosphy00 wrote:

Thank you Tectonicshift and SSinUK, I will stay strong. I am on lupron so hopefully I can have some protection between chemo and surgery.

Dx at 29. Original mass 2.5 to 3 cm. Biopsy MRI and PET/CT confirmed 1 node involved. Ki-67 score 7.5%. ER100% PR100%. Genetic testing negative. Restaged to stage IIA post surgery. Dx 11/9/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/18/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/10/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 5/21/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/11/2017 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 7/12/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Zoladex (goserelin)
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Apr 18, 2017 05:14PM YATCOMW wrote:

Ultrasound failed me......I was told I had no cancer in my breast and my nodes looked fine.......actually had a 6cm tumor and at least 17 nodes positive.....not trying to scare you....but sometimes our cancer just doesn't "show up"......I did Lupron too during chemo to keep things in check.....

I will be out 13 years next month.......hang in there.....lots of us out there way worse than your stats and doing well. As already stated you have some real positives with high ER% and low KI67. Hang on to that....in the end it is the biology of your cancer that is key.

Fists UP!


Jacqueline

Dx 5/2004, ILC/IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 17/24 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 18, 2017 05:44PM sbelizabeth wrote:

Oh, stephilosphy00...a LOT of us have been in similar circumstances to where you are right now.

In October 2011, everyone thought my "lump" was the size of a tic-tac, no big deal, pop it out and all will be OK. Then the lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy showed cancer in the sentinel node (a boatload of it--the lymph node was so chock-full of cancer that it couldn't absorb any of the tracer OR blue dye). Then the pathology report showed six positive nodes. Then the skin biopsy revealed tumor in the skin, so a mastectomy was needed. My hopes just kept getting crushed over and over again. It was a difficult time.

But like many, many others here, I took my medicine, endured the rodeo, and I'm still kicking. Don't let stage numbers define you. Your team will guide you through this with all the current treatments available and you'll keep putting one foot in front of the other, every day. One day at a time.

No one knows what the future holds, but your new news doesn't portend doom, not by a long shot. Gentle hugs.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Apr 18, 2017 06:38PM stephilosphy00 wrote:

Thank you YATCOMW and sbelizabeth for giving me hope!!!!

Dx at 29. Original mass 2.5 to 3 cm. Biopsy MRI and PET/CT confirmed 1 node involved. Ki-67 score 7.5%. ER100% PR100%. Genetic testing negative. Restaged to stage IIA post surgery. Dx 11/9/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/18/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/10/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 5/21/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/11/2017 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 7/12/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Zoladex (goserelin)
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Apr 18, 2017 07:30PM weesa wrote:

steph-I am going to echo Yatcomw and selizabeth here--I had nothing show up on annual mammograms although it could be easily felt. 'No bigger than a dime" they told me from the ultrasound results. "Early stage, no nodes probably." Turned out to be around 8 cm, nobody knows for sure because it took three surgeries to get it all. Then I had a sentinel node with a 2 cm tumor wrapped around it-- then I had four other positive nodes. Then whoops--your Ki 67 is astronomically high--75%. Ok, now we think you are her2 positive--no wait a minute, maybe not.

I well remember those times you are now going through. Be hopeful, and remember--I would gladly trade you my stats for yours!

Gentle hugs, Weesa

Sometimes I wonder if I am an old soul temporarily trapped in a breast cancer body. Dx 11/22/2002, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/20/2003 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 6/14/2003 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/23/2003 Femara (letrozole) Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap
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Apr 18, 2017 07:31PM lulu2533 wrote:

Same here. After biopsy, ultrasound, and MRI, I was told no lymph involvment, stage 1, grade 1 IDC. Yeah, not so fast...after BMX, 11 positive lymph nodes, grade 3, stage IIIC. Scans did NOT accurately predict my LN involvment. Original diagnosis was a little over two years ago. I am just taking arimidex with zoladex shots now and I am feeling pretty good.

Point is scans are not always that reliable. You probably had that little lymph node there and it just wasn't seen. Keep your chin up, the anti hormone therapy is what is really going to kick the cancers butt.

Dx 3/1/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 5/19/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 6/1/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 11/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/10/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 10/31/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/15/2015 Surgery 4/5/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Apr 18, 2017 10:00PM wrmbrownie wrote:

Yeah, I had a huge cluster of positive lymph nodes (2 huge ones for sure) before chemo. After chemo and surgery, it turned out that there were 9 positive ones still. It's just hard to tell because they're so small ahead of time. I agree with the other poster, your stats look great!

Dx 1/8/2015, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 9/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 1/30/2015 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 4/24/2015 AC Surgery 7/28/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left Radiation Therapy 9/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 10/15/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 18, 2017 10:43PM stephilosphy00 wrote:

Thank you each one of you for sharing your journeys! I won't let those fear ruin my life. I know even end up being restaged to stage 3 is not a death sentence!

Dx at 29. Original mass 2.5 to 3 cm. Biopsy MRI and PET/CT confirmed 1 node involved. Ki-67 score 7.5%. ER100% PR100%. Genetic testing negative. Restaged to stage IIA post surgery. Dx 11/9/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/18/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/10/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 5/21/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/11/2017 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 7/12/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Zoladex (goserelin)
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Apr 19, 2017 04:15AM Traveltext wrote:

Stage III is definitely no death sentence and I echo the good advice you are receiving here.

Good luck with your surgery.


Have breast & prostate cancer. NED both. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, L. 2cm, S IIIB, G 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- FEC x3, Taxol x3

Mx & 2/23 nodes 07/14

Rads x 33 09/14 and now on Tamox

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Apr 20, 2017 09:32PM stephilosphy00 wrote:

Just saw the update from the radiologist. She actually found a 4x4mm irregular small mass "in the immediate vicinity of this biopsy-proven metastatic lymph node". I am more confused now. Does anyone know what it can be? Thanks!

Dx at 29. Original mass 2.5 to 3 cm. Biopsy MRI and PET/CT confirmed 1 node involved. Ki-67 score 7.5%. ER100% PR100%. Genetic testing negative. Restaged to stage IIA post surgery. Dx 11/9/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/18/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/10/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 5/21/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/11/2017 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 7/12/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Zoladex (goserelin)
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Apr 21, 2017 01:40PM Kathleen26 wrote:

Ask your doctor if it means the same as extra-capsular extension, which essentially means that the cancer has burst out of the lymph nodes and started growing in the immediate vicinity. I had this and what they called a "mat" of cancer that had escaped the lymph nodes, and had pretty much glued them all together into an inseparable combination of cancer and lymph node.

I thought for sure this meant that I probably already had MBC, but I did not. They removed all of the lymph nodes of course, and after chemo and surgery they radiated the area as high as they could possibly get without damaging the brachial nerve. I had some pain in that area for several years, which always made me think it was growing there again, but it has since faded away.

It's not at all unusual for the news to start off as though this breast cancer is just a minor thing that you take care of and it goes away, then you find out more...and more, and things start to sound dicey. But hang in there, long-term you have a very good chance at survival.

BRCA2+ Surgery 4/9/1990 Lumpectomy: Left; Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy 5/9/1990 Whole-breast: Breast Surgery 1/4/1996 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap Dx 4/6/2010, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 8/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 5/19/2010 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/1/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy 11/7/2010 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/14/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 5/14/2012 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 9/13/2012 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 21, 2017 03:36PM - edited Apr 21, 2017 04:34PM by stephilosphy00

Hi Kathleen, thank you so much for your reply! I am pretty sure that is extracapsular extension. It is so encouraging to see that you had it and you are doing very well after many years.

Dx at 29. Original mass 2.5 to 3 cm. Biopsy MRI and PET/CT confirmed 1 node involved. Ki-67 score 7.5%. ER100% PR100%. Genetic testing negative. Restaged to stage IIA post surgery. Dx 11/9/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/18/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/10/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 5/21/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/11/2017 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 7/12/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Zoladex (goserelin)
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Apr 25, 2017 12:00PM SkiChick86 wrote:

Hi ladies, so glad to have found this thread. I completed 4 rounds of AC and just had a mastectomy. I thought I was having an awesome response to AC because my huge lump of DCIS/masses shrunk down to the point where I could no longer feel it. But, I just got my path report back and cancer was in 4 of the 8 nodes (they originally thought just 1) with extranodal extansion in one even after 4 rounds of chemo. This moves me to stage III and I'm so disappointed to know that it was originally so much larger than we thought.

I appreciate those of you who have commented, especially long-term survivors. I know I have more chemo (Taxol) and radiation ahead of me, but it's just so disheartening to find out that I've been fighting a bigger beast than I originally thought all along.

Dx at 30 while 20 weeks pregnant with my second child Dx 1/4/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/4/2017, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/24/2017 AC Surgery Mastectomy: Left

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