Ask an Expert: View a Question

Ask an Expert is a free question-and-answer service about breast cancer and breast health that is available on weekends. If you'd like to ask a question or comment, please visit us again on Saturday or Sunday. In the meantime, please search the existing topics using the search tool at the top of the page. It's quite possible that one of our many existing topics already addresses your question.

If you would like a consultation with a breast specialist at the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center, call 443-997-8282. It is possible to get an appointment for a second opinion within a few days of contacting us.

We hope you find the information helpful!

ForumQuestionsAsk a Question
Facts and Myths about Breast Cancer
Questions on the facts and myths of breast cancer.
1,017 Ask a Question

AskedPublicly Submitted Question
7/10/2017Lymph node biopsy is for diagnosis if cancer cell spread, do positive result mean the cancer cell must already have spread beyond the breast, and the negative means no spread, but is it possible there would no cancer cells spread to body other part even if the node is positive? Do lymph node have function to block and kill the cancer cells? Would take away nodes for diagnosis damage the immune system, is there another way to instead of it?
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
7/10/2017a biopsy of the lymph node is to determine if the cancer has moved from the breast to the lymphatic system. having a positive node(s) does not mean it has traveled elswhere in the body however. scans are done to determine this. lymph nodes do try to hold the cancer captive within themselves. Removal of nodes doesn't jeapordize the immune system. you have a ton of lymphnodes throughout your body and over time your underarm nodes even remap themselves in many cases.

Please note: This service is not intended to provide primary medical advice concerning specific medical care or treatment. Ask an Expert is a free service operated by health care professionals at the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. Due to the volume of questions and their complexity, there are times when medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists or oncology nurses are consulted for their input. These individuals volunteer their time for this service and will respond as soon as they are able. Please do not post or send the same question to us in multiple locations or categories.

The contents of this portion of the website cannot be used as a substitute for a consultation with your doctor or other healthcare provider. It also may not represent the opinions of other Johns Hopkins professionals. It is a free service performed on volunteer time and intended to provide feedback to questions posted by consumers however should not be used as a directive or instructions to now follow. Seeing your own medical provider is always important in getting your needs and questions addressed. In the majority of cases, a clinical examination, review of pathology slides and xrays, along with other medical information is needed to truly provide a consultative service. If you wish to receive a formal consultation with our physicians please call 443-997-8282 for surgical appointments and 410-955-8964 for medical or radiation oncology appts. For breast imaging, call 410-955-4100.


© The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System, All rights reserved.