Breast Cancer Expert Forum
Mastectomy and lymph node removal
About This Forum:

Questions posted in the Breast Cancer Forum are answered by medical professionals and experts. Topics include Breast Biopsy, Chemotherapy, Hormone Therapy, Lumps, Lumpectomy, Lymph node dissection, Lymphedema, Mammograms, Mastectomy, Radiation Therapy, Reconstruction, Self Breast Exam, and Surgery.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Mastectomy and lymph node removal

Sir:  Can cancerous cells escape during a mastectomy and lymph node removal?  Also can cancerous cells stay dormant?  Thank you.
Related Discussions
Avatar_n_tn
Dear Marille:  According to molecular studies, cancer cells can be identified moving within bodies before surgery ever takes place.  Having said that, yes, it is theoretically possible for cancer cells to escape during surgery.  Yes, it is possible for cancer cells to stay dormant, as well.
4 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I do not understand your question.   Cancer cells escape to where?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My husband has breast cancer with many positive lymph nodes.  I believe he has had this for years, he had a lump in his breast which he was repeatedly told by doctors it was nothing.  It is very aggressive.  What I mean I believe the cancer cells have been contained within the lymph nodes and have not escaped out into the blood stream.  His last scans showed nothing, but now that he had surgery, by removing his breast and lymph nodes, I feel cells can escape into the blood stream while having surgery. This basically is a known fact.  I think before surgery they should do radiation first to kill all the cancerous cells so you have a better chance of this not happening.  I don't know, I'm just trying to learn and find some answers.  My husband also had a liver transplant and is unable to do chemo, he is on Arimidex only and had radiation after the fact.  If you can explain it to me any information would be appreciated. He doesn't have much of a chance here, we can only hope for a miracle. Thank you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello Marille,  I am  so sorry your husband has cancer.  I also had cancer and therefore always wondering if it is somewhere else in my body and spreading.  That's  the reason for my question to you.
I had one breast mastectomy and the 8 chemo treatments, and am about half way through radiation.  I have wondered if the cancer cells could be spread further into my body by the surgery.  This is all a mystery to me.  I keep reading this site trying to learn something.  It has been very educational.  Thank you for your reply!
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank