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My Lymphoscintigraphy Test...Now THATS a Tongue Twister

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Joan Lunden

Breast Cancer /

Today is the day before surgery and I am going in for my pre surgical, lymphoscintigraphy test where they will inject me with radioactive material to map my lymph system for cancer cells.

My Lymphoscintigraphy Test


Today I had a radioactive material injected into my right breast for a Lymphoscintigraphy test.  After being injected, you wait an hour for it to flow through the lymph ducts and hopefully be taken up by the lymph nodes. Then a scanner is used to follow the movement of the radioactive substance to find the sentinel node (the first node to receive lymph from a tumor), which may then be removed and checked for tumor cells.  

Cancer surgeons used to take out ALL of your nodes but have since learned that it's not in a patients best interest. However they still regularly take several for the outside possibility that a cancer cell may have travelled beyond the tumor.  Even though I’ve shown no cancer in my lymph nodes, my surgeon will take 3 or 4.

TIP: I was instructed to slather my breast with Lidocaine several hours before the test and cover it with Saran Wrap before putting on my bra so that the breast would be locally anesthetized.  While an "interesting" practice, it worked and made the injections much less painful.

About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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