American Society of Clinical Oncology guideline recommendations for sentinel lymph node biopsy in early-stage breast cancer
Quality of Life
Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
SNB is an appropriate initial alternative to routine staging ALND for patients with early-stage breast cancer with clinically negative axillary nodes. Completion ALND remains standard treatment for patients with axillary metastases identified on SNB. Appropriately identified patients with negative results of SNB, when done under the direction of an experienced surgeon, need not have completion ALND. Isolated cancer cells detected by pathologic examination of the SLN with use of specialized techniques are currently of unknown clinical significance. Although such specialized techniques are often used, they are not a required part of SLN evaluation for breast cancer at this time. Data suggest that SNB is associated with less morbidity than ALND, but the comparative effects of these two approaches on tumor recurrence or patient survival are unknown.