Follow up of Sentinel Node Shows

Less Pain, No Numbness, No Swelling

Feb 02, 2000 (Reuters Health)

Women with breast cancer who undergo removal of just one or two lymph nodes -- the first nodes to which cancer usually spreads -- appear to suffer from little or no side effects of the procedure, researchers suggest.

Traditionally, doctors track the extent of the disease and whether it has spread by removing up to 20 lymph nodes in the armpit. Afterward, women may suffer pain, swelling, nerve damage, and other symptoms, according to Dr. Peter Schrenk and his colleagues at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Surgical Laparoscopy in Linz, Austria.

In a new study, the investigators compared women who underwent the traditional lymph node removal with those who had removal of the sentinel lymph nodes, or those lymph nodes closest to the cancer. To find a sentinel lymph node, researchers ``map'' the flow of lymph -- the thick fluid that circulates throughout the organs and body tissues -- by injecting a radioactive blue dye near the breast tumor.

In the study of 70 breast cancer patients, women who had many underarm lymph nodes removed suffered significantly more side effects in the months after surgery. Twenty-four of the 35 women who underwent traditional lymph node removal experienced numbness, compared with none in the sentinel lymph node group; 19 had swelling, while none in the other group did; and 16 suffered pain, while just 2 in the sentinel-node group reported minor pain.

SNB and Anaphylactic Reactions

Presented at ASCO Current Medical Res and Opinion, 2001

Sensory Morbidity:Prospective Study

Annals of Surgical Oncology, 8/02

SNLB Compared to Axillary:Unwanted Effects

Annals of Surgical Oncology, 10/02

One-year After Sentinel Node Biopsy 1/4 Mild Arm Symptoms

The Breast, 2/05

Seroma Formation Axillary Dis w/ & w/o Drains

The Breast, 4/05

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