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My sister was diagnosed in Jan 2016 with a mass 21 x 23 x 31. In April 2016 a second ultrasound measured the mass at 25 x 30 x30 with 4 suspicious lymph nodes with cortical thickness measuring 7mm. (Invasive high grade carcinoma of ductal type – e cadherin positive). Is this type of cancer regarded as a fast growing cancer and should the treatment be regarded as urgent priority. My sister would like to wait 5-6 weeks for surgery and she is unsure if this is risky?

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Thank you very much for contacting us with your concerns regarding the lymph nodes.

I will explain the process in detail so that you have enough information to make your next decisions.

Lymph nodes drain the body fluids from the tissues, filter them and send them back to the blood vessels. Because of their filtering ability, they can also catch cancer cells flowing through the body and trap them.

A normal lymph node is made of 3 parts: the cortex which contains small filters called lymphoid follicles, the paracortical area which contains T cells that help with the immune system, and  the medullary cords, made of cells called macrophages that are responsible for eating cell debris.

In the case of cancer or other infections, the filters get larger (remember this area is called the cortex), and the whole area becomes thicker, hence the description of cortical thickening. When you had the ultrasound, there were four lymph nodes with the above description. This finding is suspicious for cancer and you will need to have a more thorough examination to determine whether there is a tumor hiding somewhere.

I would suggest a formal consultation where all her records will be reviewed and a proper opinion can be formed. You may request one by clicking here.

Sorry again to hear about your diagnosis and I hope this helped.

Have a blessed day

Sincerely yours

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