At the present time, the standard of care for definitive staging of clinically early-stage invasive breast cancer is axillary node dissection. Because of the morbidity of this procedure, sentinel lymphadenectomy has been suggested as a means of identifying patients without lymphatic metastases, allowing them to forego the more morbid axillary dissection. Sentinel nodes have been identified using both vital stains and radiocolloid injection, with the highest success achieved by the combination of the two techniques. The role of preoperative lymphoscintigraphy is uncertain at this stage, but we recommend that it be considered at the initiation of a breast carcinoma sentinel node radiocolloid localization program as a further aid to localization.
It is apparent that if an axillary sentinel node can be imaged, surgeons will have no difficulty identifying the node intraoperatively because the sentinel node is emitting a significant number of counts. The real potential of lymphoscintigra-phy in breast cancer may be to identify a subpopulation of women who do not drain to the axilla and may not need any axillary procedure. In addition, this preoperative test may identify women whose tumors drain into the internal mammary nodes, and these nodes can then be included in the radiation ports if this modality is used with breast conservation.
Was this article helpful?
Complete Guide to Preventing Skin Cancer. We all know enough to fear the name, just as we do the words tumor and malignant. But apart from that, most of us know very little at all about cancer, especially skin cancer in itself. If I were to ask you to tell me about skin cancer right now, what would you say? Apart from the fact that its a cancer on the skin, that is.