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I have two questions that really have been bugging me...


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Question #1 I had surgery July 2005. All of my scans and xrays to date refer to "postoperative changes". My question is are these post operative changes different from scan to scan or are they referring back to the first scan?

Question #2 I have noticed that some people have positive lymph nodes reported in their pathology report after surgery. Why is that a bad thing? Doesn't that mean that the cancer was removed? Or does it mean that cancer may have gone from the lymph node that was removed to one that was not removed? I think that might be three questions.

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I believe "postoperative changes" refer to surgical clips, scar tissue, etc. Maybe even referring to movement of some organs after removal of others?

Lymph nodes are the body's way of funneling out infection, waste, etc. Having positive lymph nodes is not a good thing, it means the cancer cells were "traveling". This is one of the monsters under my bed, positive nodes meaning that the critter could have crawled elsewhere and is just waiting to jump out on a scan in the future...

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Thank you for your answer. That certainly makes sense. However now I do have a third question. I had 2 lymph nodes that lit up before surgery. They were never biopsied until I got on the surgery table and then they were negative for cancer. So I truly do not know if they were cancerous or if the chemo and radiation killed the cancer. If the radiation and chemo killed the cancer could the cancer still have traveled? Also I do not understand why chemo would not clean up lymph nodes after surgery as well as before surgery.

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