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Initially diagnosed June 4, 2009 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage II,Grade II tumor size: 2-3 cm node positive ER/PR postive HER2 Neu - negative Current Diagnosis: Metastatic Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Mets: Scalp/skin, Liver, Spine, Bone ER/PR + HER2/NEU -

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Axillary Node Biopsy

Went in this morning for my ultra sound. Ultra sound confirmed loss of fatty hilum. The radiologist recommended the axillary node in question be biopsied on the spot. After she explained the procedure, I decided to have it done. They did it in the office under local anesthesia, and it was no more painful than the core breast biopsy I had a few weeks back. They said it may be a little more sore due to the area and that I should avoid heavy lifting for a day or so. I should know results by Monday.

The radiologist seems very dedicated to this cause. She not only took the time to call me back and answer my questions yesterday, she also only does breast radiology. She has been doing this for 20 years. She is off next week on vacation, but is still willing to call me Monday and give me my results personally. She is an MD with certification in Radiology, specializing in Diagnostic Radiology according to the American Board of Medical Specialties website.

She said that the benefits of knowing this information (should it come back positive) would be:

  • Possible change of treatment options (chemo prior to surgery) to prevent further spread to other parts of my body
  • Knowing going into surgery that I would have all lymph nodes removed
  • Avoidance of sentinel node biopsy at surgery time, and possible false negative result that would result in an additional surgery to remove nodes
If the test should come back positive, she is going to recommend I talk to an oncologist immediately to discuss options. If the test comes back negative, then sentinel node biopsy would be done as normal during surgery.

Just found some more research that may make the doctor at Baylor a VERY reliable source for information:

"Baylor researchers also spent two years studying 305 breast cancer patients who had undergone sentinel lymph node biopsy to determine when the cancer was most likely to metastasize to help improve survival rates."

Full article here: http://www.bhcs.com/AdvancingMedicine/AreasOfResearch/Diseases/Pages/CancerResearch.aspx

And here is the procedure I had done today in detail (not for those who are squimish about needles): http://radiographics.rsnajnls.org/cgi/content/full/27/suppl_1/S91


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