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Survivorship Care Issues
Questions surrounding survivorship and life after cancer.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
8/19/2017Hello. My mother was diagnosed with triple negative ductal carcinoma at the age of 49. The lump was 3cm. She went through lumpectomy.(clear margins) The surgeon took 6 lumph nodes out to have them checked for cancer cells. The sentinel node was cancer free but 4 others contained cancer cells. And the rest of the lymph nodes remained unchecked and not removed. The doctors said it is somethong that can be taken care of with radiation therapy. She recieved 4 rounds of adriamaycin and endoxan and 4 rounds of taxol (she developed hand and foot syndrom with taxotere so they changed it to taxol). Then 30 radiation treatments. She just finished her radiation therapy. Here are my questions...1) I'm still worried about all the other unchecked lymph nodes! Was that the right decision not to take them all out?? 2)What are her chances of having a recurrence? 3)She suffers from leg pains since her radiation that worsens at night (but she feels a bit better after starting calcium D pills). It feels like the pain after a long exercise. The doctors said it is because of chemo side effects. But could this be the result of a metastasis?
Sorry for the long question!
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
8/22/2017The impact of axillary nodal dissection on survival is not well established. The management of axillary nodes has been evolving towards minimizing long term complications, without compromising outcome. Adjuvant chemotherapy is expected to positively impact survival. TNBC has a much better response to conventional chemotherapy than other breast cancer subtypes. TNBC characteristically has a high recurrence rate, which drops down sharply after five years. Peripheral nerve damage is common with chemotherapy, and can cause numbness, tingling and pain that can persist for years after chemotherapy ends.

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