What is the sentinel node in breast cancer?

The sentinel lymph node (SLN) is the underarm (axillary) lymph node closest to a breast cancer. During surgery to remove early-stage breast cancer, the sentinel node often is removed and sent to a pathologist who determines if there is cancer in it.

What is the purpose of a sentinel node?

Sentinel nodes are the first lymph nodes where cancer cells might spread from a tumor. Lymph nodes are small organs that “filter” fluid in the body and help protect you from illness. The word “sentinel” means a guard or someone keeping watch.

What is a sentinel node and how is it useful in staging cancer?

Sentinel node biopsy is a surgical procedure used to determine whether cancer has spread beyond a primary tumor into your lymphatic system. It’s used most commonly in evaluating breast cancer and melanoma. The sentinel nodes are the first few lymph nodes into which a tumor drains.

What is the difference between a sentinel node and a lymph node?

A sentinel lymph node is defined as the first lymph node to which cancer cells are most likely to spread from a primary tumor. Sometimes, there can be more than one sentinel lymph node.

What is the difference between sentinel nodes and axillary nodes?

Breast cancer can spread to the nearby tissue in the underarms (axillary). This tissue is known as lymph nodes. The first node in the group is known as a sentinel node. If no cancer is found in the first node, the cancer has probably not spread to other nodes in the area.

How are sentinel lymph nodes identified?

To identify the sentinel lymph node(s), the surgeon injects a radioactive substance, blue dye, or both near the tumor. The surgeon then uses a probe to find the sentinel lymph node(s) containing the radioactive substance or looks for the lymph node(s) stained with dye.

What is the difference between sentinel and axillary lymph nodes?

How big is a sentinel lymph node?

Sentinel Lymph Node Pathologic Assessment For positive SLNs, the size of the largest metastasis was recorded. For SLNs described only as containing isolated tumor cells (ITCs), size was recorded as 0.1 mm.

How big is the sentinel lymph node?

What is the difference between axillary and sentinel lymph nodes?

What if sentinel node is positive?

If cancer cells are in the sentinel node, it means the cancer has spread beyond the breast. In the past, surgically removing other underarm lymph nodes, called axillary node dissection, was a common treatment after a positive sentinel node to reduce the risk of recurrence (the cancer coming back).

What is sentinel node biopsy procedure?

A sentinel lymph node biopsy is a test that checks lymph nodes for cancer cells. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system, a network of organs and vessels that help the body fight infections and other diseases. Lymph nodes are located throughout the body, including the underarms, neck, chest, abdomen, and groin.