Focal thin walled lymphovascular invasion

LearningLearning Member Posts: 3
Hi everyone

New here....been lurking on the sidelines for a few weeks having been diagnosed in October with early stage breast cancer (Luminal A). There is an aspect of my post lumpectomy pathology that continues too gnaw away at me ....over and above the whole cancer thing that is! It was the finding that there was  "Focal thin walled lymphovascular invasion present" but no nodal involvement. From my reading and questions to my practitioners it seems this is a controversial prognostic factor and reassurances from my oncologist that the hormone therapy (which I have just started as my radiation has just finished) will address this, have done little to assuage my anxiety. I read on a community forum (even though I know its not a good idea to lean on google as a member of my treating team) the assertion in quotation marks below.  Does anyone know if there really is a distinction between levels of invasion or indeed can anyone cast any light on this issue at all?

"LVI is present" means that they see tumour cells within blood or Lymphaetic cells in the sample they are testing. This does not necessarily mean that the tumour cells are traveling your body. It just increases the chances that there may be. There are three levels of LVI, which are: Focal - very small area of sample showing LVI. No effect on recurrence/ prognosis. Intermediate/Moderate - an area of the sample is showing LVI. No effect on recurrence/prognosis. Extensive - LVI covers a large portion or the entire sample. Does effect recurrence as if it was one positive lymph node"

Thanks in advance, I am in awe of the generosity, compassion and fighting spirit of all of you.



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  • GlemmisGlemmis Member Posts: 224
    Hi @Learning, I was diagnosed in July 2016 with early BC. Biopsy showed LVI & after lumpectomy I had to have mastectomy & full axillary clearance. I had extensive LVI spread throughout the breast & 3 nodes with cancer. My surgeon called it a nasty cancer & said they were going to throw everything at me! I had 16 rounds of chemo, 25 rads & taking Femara & now NED although they also say they don't know whether they have undertreated me or overtreated. That is the thing, they don't know. I used to worry about every word in that pathology report but there are so many variations with one thing making it worse or better it is not worth it. Don't read those google reports, sometimes it is very old research, just follow your doctors advice!
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,327
    I think google can really help understanding the language of pathology.  But what google can't tell you, nor pathology is how you as an individual will do with treatment. 2 women could have near identical path reports, one might progress to stage 1V and the other may not. It does seem a lotto and the treating team base its plan on results, experience and I suspect gut feelings at times. Ask what that means if you need to know. I decided to not look anymore...progress through treatment and hope I'd done all I could. I didn't want to spend any more time thinking about what might happen ...I just put faith in that I had chosen and gave it my best shot at cure. Kath x

  • LearningLearning Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for your insights ladies, appreciate them. And, Primek I totally get what you are saying, I'm just desperately trying to get some control back, I guess, by understanding as much as I can. That said it will be what it will be as you suggest and, in  time, I imagine I will accept that.

    First day of the next 365 day chapter in our lives, here's hoping that each of us have loads of joy-filled days! Happy New Year xo
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,327
    I get you wanting to feel you have some control back but the reality with this disease is we don't have much control at all. We have choices. We can follow advice but that's about it.

    We can't control side effects...but take medication or do exercises to help. We don't have control if we will be unwell on chemo or not...that's another lotto. Worrying about what might happen constantly can just suck all the joy out of life. I decided to just deal with issues as they arose...if they arose.

    It's probably the hardest thing to accept.

    Having knowledge is good...but don't get caught in the trap of too much the saying "you can't see the woods for the trees" the bigger picture is what we need.  Kath x
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 1,561
    You have hit the nail on the head @Learning. If we knew exactly what the side effects were beforehand and thinking with the beforehand brain, we might have said no. When some unforeseen side effect happens, it can sometimes just be accepted, dealt with and we move on. The hindsight brain knows how much more resilient and adaptable we are than the beforehand brain ever did. 
  • MollygirlMollygirl Brisbane Member Posts: 213
    Hi @Learning, I also had LVI but no nodes involved. I think I focus on the no node involvement as my mantra!  Best wishes xx
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