Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy In Earlystage Breast Cancer

Amit Goyal and Robert E. Mansel

Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN, UK

Abstract: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is the current standard of care for nodal staging in early-stage breast cancer patients who are clinically node-negative. Data from three randomised controlled trials conclusively demonstrates that SLNB is associated with less arm morbidity and better quality of life than axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). Large observational studies have shown that SLNB is associated with low local recurrence rate and similar survival to ALND. Appropriately identified patients with negative results of SLNB need not undergo completion ALND. Micrometastasis and isolated tumour cells detected by pathologic examination of the SLN with use of immunohistochemical staining or RT-PCR are currently of unknown clinical significance and they are not a required part of SLN evaluation for breast cancer at this time.

Keywords: breast cancer, blue dye, isotope, lymphatic mapping, sentinel lymph node biopsy

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