What are the benefits of lymphoscintigraphy (sentinel lymph node mapping) for breast cancer?

Updated: Dec 13, 2018
  • Author: Durre Sabih, MBBS, MSc, FRCP(Edin); Chief Editor: Mahan Mathur, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Lymphoscintigraphy allows the patient to avoid axillary clearance surgery (axillary lymph node dissection) if the sentinel node is negative for metastatic disease. Given the high prevalence of breast cancer worldwide, the possibility of avoiding axillary clearance surgery in a significant number of patients makes this an extremely valuable procedure.

Lymphoscintigraphy is the staging modality of choice for early breast cancer, and breast cancer trials with 5- to 10-year outcome data have shown no significant differences in disease-free survival rates or overall survival rates between lymphoscintigraphy and axial lymph node dissection but have shown significantly lower morbidity with lymphoscintigraphy. [4]


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