Why it's done

Sentinel node biopsy is recommended for people with certain types of cancer to determine whether the cancer cells have spread into the lymphatic system.

Sentinel node biopsy is routinely used for people with:

  • Breast cancer
  • Melanoma

Sentinel node biopsy is being studied for use with other types of cancer, such as:

  • Colon cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Thyroid cancer