Breast Cancer Community
Axillary Lymphnodes
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to breast cancer, biopsy, genetics, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, lumps, lumpectomy, lymph node dissection, lymphedema, mammograms, mastectomy, radiation therapy, reconstruction, and self exams.

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Axillary Lymphnodes

Has anyone declined the axillary node dissection even in the event their sentinol node biopsy showed cancer?  Isn't the main reason for axillary node removal for diagnostics and also wouldn't the chemo take care of the cancer there?  I am just as terrified of getting lymphodema as I am about the cancer. My lumpectomy is this week and I have to make a decision.
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25201_tn?1255584436
This would be your decision and I felt the same way you do about Lymphedema ... I had a mastectomy and removal of I believe 12 or axillary lymph nodes. No sentinel biopsy pre-op, only surgical biopsy. I did have a rather minor bout of LE but sought treatment immediately and did my home routine for almost a year. No real problem since and have had some hand surgery on that side since with no untoward effects. If sentinel node were positive I certainly would not refuse the axillary node removal but as I said .... it's your decision. I would talk to the Oncologist first before making that decision though.   Regards ...
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Thankyou for your response.  My surgeon is trying to get me in to see the oncologist before surgery.  I guess most people do go on to have the axillary disection.  Its such a tough decision for me.  I'm glad to hear you are no longer having any issues with the LE.
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25201_tn?1255584436
Why not see the Oncologist ???  This is very good advice as most Oncologists can discuss in depth all the options of any and all treatment that is being considered. Any that I have had experience with will spell it all out for you and usually make it easier to make decisions as well as understand it all completely. They can bring up issues that we don't even think of and that is a good thing.  Regards..
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a nurse and I had to make the same decision. I had 3 nodes removed and have never experienced lymphodema. My friend had 19 removed and she does experience some problems however not too bad. As you probably know the sentinal node is the 1st node, if this is affected they keep checking the nodes until they have a clear node which yes is for diagnostic reasons, this is why they dont want to remove nodes not affected. As years ago it was routine to do a full axillary clearence. Thank god that has changed!!! all the best regards rudi595
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