There are two levels of questions pertinent to radiocolloid identification of sentinel lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer. The first relates to technical issues such as the optimum particle size, volume of injectate, and scanning interval. These issues are all currently under investigation at ours and other institutions. The second level pertains to the possible implications of this technique for clinical practice. What, for instance, is the significance of a positive supraclavicular sentinel node? Do these patients have Stage II disease in previously undissected areas (node positive, at high risk for metastasis and likely to benefit from adjuvant systemic treatment) or distant metastatic disease, as defined by the UICC/AJCC staging system? In either circumstance, do they represent a clinically unique subset who might benefit from a specialized treatment approach? What is the significance of a periclavicular or internal mammary sentinel node as to the need for performing any axillary surgical procedure and what types of surgical approaches should be used in these settings? Are there some women with invasive breast cancer, with perhaps inner-quadrant tumors who do not drain to the axilla and therefore do not need any axillary procedure? These and similar clinical questions are only beginning to be asked and, no doubt, will receive extensive attention in the future.
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.