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Topic: negative result from pathology report, is it possible?

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Nov 25, 2019 04:44AM

fac03 wrote:


I had chemo for several months, then lymph node dissection and lumpectomy 2 weeks ago.

I will meet with my surgeon to see the report tomorrow, but want to better prepare myself to ask questions. She told me over the phone that she took out 14 lymph nodes and the tumor in the breast, and they were all negative. Is it possible? If there were no evidence of cancer, why did I have the surgery? She also told me I was stage 1, but if I were stage 1, why did I have to go through 4 ACs and 12 T then the surgery and then radiation next month? I asked about the radiation, she said it was the standard protocol.

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Nov 25, 2019 06:42AM Peregrinelady wrote:

It sounds like you got a complete pathological response from the chemo. Did you have an Oncotype test? Even stage 1 tumors can be aggressive.
Dx 4/24/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2015 Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox) Surgery 4/17/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 7/31/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 25, 2019 07:16AM fac03 wrote:

Peregrinelady, I just not sure. How can I know it was aggressive to begin with? Yes, according to my oncologist and the initial biopsy, they detected cancer on the lymph nodes, the way I found out was quite convoluted. I wonder whether I had cancer to begin with. Is it common for the chemo killed **all** the cancer cell?

Yes, I don't think the doctor did an oncotype test, but she did a cancer antigen 27.29 test, and my score was 28.8 before any treatment. How do I know whether my tumors were aggressive?

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Nov 25, 2019 07:51AM - edited Nov 25, 2019 07:52AM by Meow13

I am wondering why they didn't provide you a copy of your biopsy report. My breast surgeon went over all the results with me. We talked about what everything meant and he gave me a copy. Since I had er+ cancer hormone therapy was discussed. I had an MRI and we talked about the 2 small tumors and a suspicious area.

The tumor board reviewed the information and recommended a simple mastectomy. The oncologist I met with after my surgery suggested an oncodx test to determine possible chemo(after tumor removed).

It is possible you had a tumor that was larger or in a certain position that suggested the chemo prior to surgery would be beneficial, the breast surgeon should have explained it to you. If you had a complete response then the tumor bed removed would show no active cancer cells. You would need to have it removed to absolutely know this, an MRI and mammogram are not going to give you that info.

Did you have cancer detected in the lymph nodes before doing chemo? If you had more than 3 positive nodes or you were hormone receptor negative er and pr or her2 positive the oncodx test would not apply for you.

There is a standard of care surgery, possible chemo and radiation and hormone therapy but sometimes chemo is given first to reduce the size of a tumor not all early stage cancers are treated the same other factors come into play. Your doctor should explain all of this to you before you start treatment.

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Nov 25, 2019 01:30PM - edited Nov 25, 2019 01:30PM by Beesie

As Peregrinelady said, it is possible to have a complete pathological response to chemo.

The answer is in your biopsy reports. Reading back to your early posts, it appears you had two biopsies. One was on a lymph node, and you've indicated that cancer was found; was the other a breast biopsy?

For all of us, our complete diagnosis is a combination of our biopsy findings and our surgical pathology. Get copies of your biopsy reports and all imaging and test reports from the time of your diagnosis. The answers will be in there. If testing on the biopsy samples found an aggressive cancer, then you did have an aggressive cancer - and a great reaction to the chemo.

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Nov 26, 2019 04:27AM Meow13 wrote:


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