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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
3/5/2018My surgeon was so sure that my IDC ER + less than 1/4 inch tumor would net no positive nodes in sentinel node biopsy with a simple mastectomy. (I still held my breath and he made no promises.)This after being 12 years out from IDC w/ less than 1 inch tumor, at 50 years old w/ lumpectomy & radiation, mammo every year, tamoxifen for 3 yrs. (I guess I should have continued.) So I have the mastectomy on 3/2/18 and the sentinel node is positive along with four more removed in same area, and then the surgeon takes all of my nodes out (Lev I and II) I find out afterwards. I await the path report but I fear it has to be horrible if he had to take all of them out? My friend had stage II-B IDC and had only 4 positive nodes removed with a mastectomy and chemo therapy and doing fine. I am bewildered as to why I lost all of mine. I am worried sick and I am supposed to wait until my follow up visit for another 10 days. The path report will help staging, I know, but why did all of them have to go do you think? Why do some of us have to have all of them removed and others so few less when they are positive too? Many thanks. From, Trouble Sleeping
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
3/6/2018Sometimes, the surgeon does not know until he/she gets in there just how involved the lymph nodes may be. We do not remove a lot nodes unless we are fairly certain that they are abnormal, however, there is always a chance things look differently once the surgeon gets in there. Keep in mind that every patient is different and every breast cancer is different, so your friend's experience is not necessarily the same as yours.

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