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Sentinel Node Biopsy

ClaireFClaireF Member Posts: 1
edited November 2019 in General discussion

Hi, I would like to hear from anyone who had positive results in theatre with the sentinel node biospy only to be told later that there was cancer detected.

Just trying to decide if I go back to surgery for a clearance?


  • strongtogetherstrongtogether BrisbaneMember Posts: 163
    Hi gang,
     I can see this is an old discussion, but it did trigger a dormant question I had.
    This scenario is the same as the one we had. The surgeon initially said that the nodes looked clear, but when the results came through there was one node that came back positive, out of three nodes taken.
     Are the nodes tested at the time of surgery? I seem to recall something about two different sorts of tests, an initial one and a more accurate one..  is that correct, or is this just part of the confusion of those 3arly shellshocked days...?
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 5,028
    Pathology as a result of surgery gives the true picture and in some instances it means a return visit to theatre
  • MantisMantis SydneyMember Posts: 61
    @strongtogether the way I understand it is that the sentinel node/s are removed and a frozen section is tested while you’re still in surgery.  The surgeon receives the results during surgery and if positive they will continue to do an auxiliary clearance.

    The frozen section is a rapid test and not as accurate as the full final test which is why you can get false negatives.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,884
    It’s some years ago now but my nodes were tested at the time of surgery and the results included in the written report. I had the opposite problem - a considerable number of nodes were enlarged and therefore suspect but only one turned out to be malignant (the biopsied one). The ‘look’ therefore may be deceptive, either way. As @iserbrown says, pathology after surgery is the reliable indicator. 
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,956
    Mine were thought to be clear until surgery.  The path report came back with 3 of the nodes affected so more were taken at the subsequent surgery but these were fine.
  • strongtogetherstrongtogether BrisbaneMember Posts: 163
    Thanks ladies. 
    That was my understanding also. I wonder what it means that the *express*frozen* biopsy is negative when the full one is positive? I suppose it just means that the specific section of the node they initially looked at didnt have any malignant cells in it.
  • GlemmisGlemmis Member Posts: 339
    My sentinel node at time of lumpectomy was clear from frozen section but when full pathology came back 10 days later it had cancer so a further 12 nodes were taken with mastectomy & 2 further nodes had cancer. 
  • GlynnisGlynnis Member Posts: 342
    Mine were thought to be clear at ct. scan, when snb was done with lumpectomy 3 were removed, they were a full of cancer so chemo, radiation then further lymph node removal 21 in fact all but 1 had cancer that was 2015, 2019 diagnosed with mets.
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