Can axillary lymph node disection show stage IV breast cancer
My mother was recently diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in her right breast (2cm). She opted to have a bilateral mastectomy last week and during surgery they tested 2 sentinal nodes, one positive, one negative, and therefore removed a large portion of her lymph nodes for further testing. The MRI did not show signs of cancer in her left breast, and she did not have lymph nodes in her left side, so no testing could be done. We are awaiting the pathology report for staging and are worried this could be stage IV, would the surgeon have seen signs of spread outside of the lymph nodes during testing for and surgery? If not, will a pathology report on lymph nodes be albe to show if cancer has spread beyond this area? If not, what would be the best test to rule out stage IV?
Lymph node dissection will only show if there is cancer in the lymph nodes. The only way to know if there is spread to other organs beyond the breast (Stage IV) is through further testing, i.e. PET Scan, MRI, CT Scan, bone scan. The kind of test will be determined by your mom's doctor, depending on all the clinical data he/she will have from the pathology report. The presence of cancer in the lymph nodes does not necessarily mean that the cancer has spread to other organs. There are many women on this forum who have had positive lymph nodes, but no spread to other organs. Stay positive and strong for your mom. She is lucky to have such a caring child. I hope things work out well for her.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.