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|Understanding Pathology Results
Questions explaining and understanding pathology results.
|Asked||Publicly Submitted Question|
|4/29/2012||I have ILC extending to inked margin, what does inked margin mean?|
|Replied||JHU's Breast Center Reply|
|4/29/2012||When a breast tissue specimen obtained in the operating room is sent to pathology, the surgeon need to inform the pathologist of its "orientation" meaning, he/she has to label each of the 6 sides of the specimen. For illustration purposes, picture the tissue taken out of the breast to be in the shape of a cube. there is a top, bottom, left, right, front and back. Each side is labeled. some surgeons who different colored ink to identify each of the sides. The pathologist measures the distance that the tumor is from the edge of that side-- the margin. In your case, there appears to be invasive lobular cancer cells at the margin of this tissue specimen. It is necessary to have what are called "clear margins" or "free margins" for all 6 sides of the specimen. There needs to be usually 2mm or more of healthy tissue between the tumor and each of those 6 margins. What does this mean?? more surgery needs to happen to achieve the margin depth needed. Invasive lobular cancer has a reputation for sometimes being a little trickier to achieve clear margins simply by the way it grows. Rather than growing in a more uniform way like a ball becoming a bigger ball, it instead has tentacles. each tentacle can have a different length. unfortunately mammography doesn't always show these tentacles but MRI does most of the time. So don't panic!!! if it is only one margin that is the problem them likely the surgeon can go back in through the same incision and trim a little more from that one edge, getting a clear margin. You are welcome to come to us if you want to consider having us do that procedure or if there is a concern that it is several margins that may warrant the need for mastectomy, please do come to us. just call 443-287-2778.|
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