Should I remove my lymph nodes to check for cancer before I start Chemo and Radiation?

Hi lovely ladies! I have an important decision to make and I will appreciate all the insights and any suggestion you may have.

I did a LEEP procedure 3 weeks ago where also a biopsy of my cervix which confirmed cervical cancer. I have a tumor growing in my cervix and some cells in the tissues around too. No evidence was found of any cancer in the organs around.The question is whether it is in the lymph node or not??

Couple days ago I went to see Doctor A. Doctor A only had my biobsy pathology report and my Pet Scan. My pet scan showed metabolic activity in my cervix and lymph node. However , Doctor is 85% sure that my lymph node has cancer cells.He said it could also be inflammation or fluid but he has a strong feeling it is cancer. So he recommends I staright away start Chemo,Radiation and Braketherapy.

Today I went to Doctor B. Doctor B is the one who did my LEEP procedure 3 weeks ago. Now, she is not convinced that it is cancer in my lymph node. She suspects that because I had my LEEP just 3 weeks ago, it could be scarring, fluid or something else showing up in my lymph node. She wants to take ALL my lymph nodes out and first check them for cancer. If they are not affected by cancer then its just stage 1A in which case the option is hysterectomy. However if they are cancerous I am back at stage 3C1 and we will have to do chemo, radiation and braketherapy.

Basically, just knowing whether the cancer cells are in the lymph node or no can make a difference between stage 1 and stage 3 which is a big difference when it comes to the treatment plan.

Guys… I am swinging like a pendulum between the two decisions! I have booked another round of consultations in the coming week with both the doctors to ask more about lymph node removal. However any insight, experience or knowledge from you all will be very helpful at this time for me.

  1. Is it worth taking out all my pelvic lymph nodes and then finding out that they have cancer in them and then I have to start chemo and radiation ?

  2. I love to cling to the hope that if I get my lymph nodes taken out, maybe there is a chance that there are no cancer cells in them in which case I get a radical hysterectomy and maybe after that I don’t have to do a harsh chemo and radiation!

  3. I read that lymph nodes are sensitive to chemo and radiation and they probably will get damaged anyways during chemorad. So then should I just go for the surgery and remove them anyways ?

Again… I will be consulting both the doctors and their teams again to come to a decision but if you can can talk from experience or have any inputs which can help me move in the right direction I will be very very thankful!!

I think its difficult when you have 2 conflicting options. It should be the dr’s suggesting the best evidence based decision for you. I had a leetz following punch biopsy and thst staged me at a 1b2. I also had mri and pet scsn to confirm. Ive since had a radical hysterectomy and lymphadectomy, and ovaries and tubes taken out, as it was the best option for my case, despite the lower staging. Good luck.

Hey @Abi2 . tHANKS FOR REPLYING . Yes at the moment I am trying arrange couple more consultancies to get some more answers and clarity.

If theres a possibility you can avoid radiation treatment by having the lymph nodes tested then it’s really worth taking the gamble. Its actually pretty unlikely that such an early cancer will have already spread into the lymph nodes so there’s a good chance Dr B is right. Radiation treatment can be really damaging to surrounding tissues and a hysterectomy will be much less damaging in the long run so in your shoes I wouid be tempted to give it a go.

Hey @Petesdragon Thanks for replying to me!
Yes its that glimmer of hope that I want to try and test out before surrendering to chemorad. I am asking myself this question though: If after removing ALL the lymph nodes from my pelvis, If I run into some complications, will that make radiation and chemo even more difficult for me in the future?
Any clue?

I would get those nodes removed and tested and try to avoid chemo and radiation. Has a radical hysterectomy in January myself and it was no issue. Just a little sore for a couple weeks. I had already been through chemo and biopsies of other areas and found out my stage 4 cancer wasn’t really stage 4 , as a result. During my hysterectomy, my trial doctor/surgeon removed and tested glands and no evidence of excessive sting cancer and she used some type of die to see if cancer was anywhere else. Thankfully, no. I have scar tissue in my right pelvis and was told it’s due to the chemo. I have neuropathy in my feet from chemo but it’s manageable now. Had a bowel blockage during chemo and was hospitalized for a week. Chemo messed up my thyroid and now I’ll be on meds for that, probably forever. I just think surgery and biopsies allow for more clarity and can help determine the best and least harmful path forward, especially after my experience

Thank you for replying :slight_smile:
I’m just afraid of going into chemorad without my lymph nodes !
Will that have a worse and adverse affect ? Will I be able to stand chemo without pelvic lymph nodes at all ?
That’s thought has been killing me !

@Mona1 I had 12 lymph nodes removed during my hyster. I then completed chemo/ rads. No real side effects that I can tell from having nodes removed. I assume they will at least take out a few during surgery to confirm if there has been any spread

@Kellybug221 Thank you so much! I seem to forget, your stage was 2B right?

Yes I was believed to be 1B prior to surgery as it was not detected that it had microscopically spread to my parametrium. Therefor pathology post op staged me 2b and then required treatment

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Thank you so much !!