Current Status of Sentinel Node Surgery in Breast Cancer
December 01, 2003
The biologic rationale for sentinellymph node biopsy, althoughit may ultimately stagethe axilla more accurately, is essentiallythat a positive lymph node representssystemic disease. Removal ofaxillary lymph nodes is of little, if any,therapeutic value, and most patients with tumors greater than 1 cm are offeredchemotherapy regardless ofnodal status. Thus, the risks of lymphedemaand neurologic deficit outweighany prognostic information derivedfrom an axillary node dissection whenthis same information can be accuratelyobtained in a less invasive, lessmorbid procedure.