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Thread: Final Pathology Report (silly question)

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Final Pathology Report (silly question)

    Hi Everyone.

    This is kind of a silly question and I am very prone to worry -- just call me Ms. Worry Wart.

    Anyhow, my husband had robotic prostatectomy surgery last Wednesday (the 12th) and is at home recovering. We got the final pathology report yesterday after meeting with the doctor and he confirmed that the cancer was confined to his prostate and that the margins and lymph nodes were negative. We also recevied a call from the Pathologist stating the same thing.

    The thing that is worrying me is that after the GREAT news I was reading over the pathology report and noticed where it said margins and lymph nodes that it stated "not identified" instead of "negative." I called the office back and the nurse pretty much told me that "not identified" means pretty much the same thing as being negative -- that there was no cancer identified in the lymph nodes or margins. She said she could have them do an addendum on the paper work if I'd like and I told her yes.

    I don't know why but this is driving me crazy. I wanted the final pathology report to state that the cancer was negative in his margins and lymph nodes and not "not identified." I guess what I am looking for is confirmation that "not identified" is the same thing as "negative."

    I know I must sound crazy but I've been very anal about my husband's health and care, especially since the day we found out he had PCa.

    Many thanks in advance...

    - Carrie

  2. #2
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Mine read the same, Doc assured me that is the same as negative.
    Age 58 at diagnosis, 10/12
    PSA 8/10 2.3
    PSA 6/11 2.2
    Positive DRE during exam, PSA 3.3, 9/12
    Biopsy 10/10/12, one core of 12 positive, 30%, Gleason 3 + 3=6.
    DaVinci RRP 11/30/12.
    Pathology- 20% involvement, all Gleason 3+3=6
    Negative seminal vesicles and lymph nodes, organ confined
    Some positive margins at urethra and posterior surgical resection margins
    Doc not concerned, he is confident my first PSA in 3 months will be undetectable hope he is right!!
    Staged as pT2, N0, MX

  3. #3
    Moderator Top User HighlanderCFH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    It could be just one pathologist's preference of terminology/phraseology that means the same thing -- negative.

    I'll bet that JohnT will be able to offer a good answer.

    July 2011 local PSA lab reading 6.41 (from 4.1 in 2009). Mayo Clinic PSA 9/ 2011 = 5.7.
    Local uro DRE revealed significant BPH, no lumps.
    PCa Dx Aug. 2011 age of 61.
    Biopsy DXd adenocarcinoma in 3/20 cores (one 5%, two 20%). T2C.
    Gleason 3+3=6. CT abdomen, bone scan negative.
    DaVinci prostatectomy 11/1/11 at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), nerve sparing, age 62.
    Surgeon was Dr. Matthew Tollefson, who I highly recommend.
    Final pathology shows tumor confined to prostate.
    5 lymph nodes, seminal vesicules, extraprostatic soft tissue all negative.
    1.0 x 0.6 x 0.6 cm mass involving right posterior inferior, right posterior apex & left
    mid posterior prostate. Right posterior apex margin involved by tumor over 0.2 cm length,
    doctor says this is insignificant.
    Prostate 98 grams, tumor 2 grams.
    Catheter out in 7 days. No incontinence, minor dripping for a few weeks.
    Seven annual post-op exams 2012 through 2018: PSA <0.1
    Semi-firm erections without "training wheels," usable erections with 100mg Sildenafil.
    NOTE: ED caused by BPH, not the surgery.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Carrie4335 View Post
    The thing that is worrying me is that after the GREAT news I was reading over the pathology report and noticed where it said margins and lymph nodes that it stated "not identified" instead of "negative."

    - Carrie
    You should relax and not worry.

    "Not identified" is a standard term used by pathologist to indicate negative finding. It is like saying they could not find or identify any cancer in the sample. My pathologist and the report used "not identified" and not "negative" to describe the results. I used "negative" in my signature to reduce confusion.
    PCa Dx 2010 at 65. PSA increased from 2.5 in 2000 to 10.7 in 2010. Four biopsies in 6 years. Final biopsy in 2010: 1 of 12 cores 5% cancer, G6
    CT, bone scans & MRI all negative
    Da Vinci 8/10; nerve sparing, catheter out in 7 days; no incontinence, no ED
    Post Op Pathology pT2N0Mx: organ confined; negative margins; lymph nodes & seminal vesicle not involved but PNI present; cancer extensive within prostate, multifocal G 3+3 and tertiary G 4
    Infected lymphocele diagnosed and treated in 2014, 4 yrs after RALP
    PSA <.1 for the past 6 years.

  5. #5
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Thank you all so much! You've all eased my mind. I appreciate it a lot.


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