If examination of the sentinel nodes does not show any sign of cancer, no further lymph node evaluation is needed. If further treatment is needed, your doctor will use this information to help develop your cancer treatment plan.
If any of the sentinel nodes contain cancer, your doctor may recommend having additional lymph nodes removed to determine the extent of lymph node involvement.
In certain cases, the sentinel nodes can be examined by a pathologist during your procedure. If your surgeon has this information while you're still in the operating room, additional lymph nodes may be removed right away. This way, you may not need to have another operation to remove additional lymph nodes.
Nov. 18, 2014
- Harlow SP, et al. Sentinel lymph node biopsy in breast cancer: Techniques. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 19, 2014.
- Delaney CP. Netter's Surgical Anatomy and Approaches. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 19, 2014.
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/sentinel‐node‐biopsy. Accessed June 19, 2014.