Breast Cancer Research

, 2:A61 | Cite as

A radiographer's perspective of sentinel lymph node biopsy

  • SD Pendry
Meeting abstract


Breast Cancer Lymph Node Breast Cancer Patient Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Lymph Node Status 
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Full text

Axillary lymph node clearance during surgery for breast cancer provides control of local disease within the axilla and staging of axillary lymph nodes. However, the procedure carries a significant morbidity such as seroma formation, infection, parathesia-reduced shoulder movements, lymphoedema and longer in-patient stay. As there are a significant number of patients presenting with early stage breast cancer (60% of patients have disease free axillary nodes), routine axillary lymph node clearance exposes many patients to unnecessary surgery.

Sentinel lymph node biopsy has evolved as a technique to successfully identify the first draining lymph node to accurately predict axillary lymph node status. It is a minimally invasive procedure which, after an initial learning curve, is quick and easy to perform. At the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust, we are now involved in a national trial for this procedure. This is a review of the technique and imaging modalities involved. If shown to be a successful and reliable technique, sentinel lymph node biopsy will contribute significantly to the management of breast cancer patients.

Copyright information

© Current Science Ltd 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • SD Pendry
    • 1
  1. 1.Imaging DepartmentUniversity Hospital Birmingham NHS TrustBirminghamUK

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