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Breast Cancer

Recurrence in neck node

02/25/2008

Question:

5 years ago I had Invasive ductal breast cancer, ER+ and P+. I am convinced this was caused by HRT which I took for 10 years. I had a mastectomy and chemo. 7 out of 10 lymph nodes were positive and all lymph nodes under the arm were removed. Now there is a recurrence in a neck lymph node, a lump about pea size. This is a leftover from what happened 5 years ago. So I have a metastasis without a primary tumor, the primary was removed! Or is this now the primary tumor? And what can be done about this?

Answer:

If the new lymph node is from the tumor 5 years ago, then the metastasis is not without a primary—it is from the primary breast tumor 5 years ago. Usually people with a neck recurrence of breast cancer have a biopsy to show what kind of tumor it is, and what the estrogen, progesterone and her 2 test is. Also complete staging with cat scan and bone scan should be done. Then a decision should be made as to what type of treatment is best. Recurrences after breast cancer are treatable, often with very good results.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University