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
Questions to ask to ensure you are in good hands
Questions on what to ask to make sure your in good hands.
2,506 Ask a Question

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.

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.