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Doctor insights on: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

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Should I have a sentinel lymph node biopsy to find out if there is spread to the lymph nodes?

Should I have a sentinel lymph node biopsy to find out if there is spread to the lymph nodes?

See specialist: This is an important question to discuss with your dermatologist. If the melanoma is 1-4mm thick, sln biopsy is often recommended. Between 0.7-1mm depends on other features of your melanoma. Since we have yet to demonstrate survival benefits, sln biopsy is still used primarily for staging. That said, discussion with your specialist is essential as each case is different. ...Read more

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Sentinel Lymph Node (Definition)

This is a surgical procedure to identify the first node that receives drainage from the site of the cancer, and is thus the node most likely to have cancer if cancer has spread. It is done routinely for breast cancer and melanoma but can also be used for others. The node is removed and examined under the microscope for cancer. The results will help determine what additional ...Read more


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My friend has breast cancer. She says she needs a sentinel lymph node biopsy. What is that?

My friend has breast cancer. She says she needs a sentinel lymph node biopsy. What is that?

Removing a few nodes: A sentinel node biopsy means removing several lymph nodes in the chain of armpit lymph nodes. Blue dye and/or radioactivity is injected into the breast.The first armpit lymph nodes that "light up" are removed and examined for cancer cells. We know that cancer cells travel through lymph nodes in order. If the sentinel lymph nodes are negative, the others are assumed to be negative as well. ...Read more

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O had surgery for positive breast cancer. Is sentinel lymph node biopsy accurate for breast cancer surgery. Node was negative.

O had surgery for positive breast cancer. Is sentinel lymph node biopsy accurate for breast cancer surgery. Node was negative.

Yes they are: by now sentinel lymph node are the standard of care for breast cancer surgery and staging, and yes they are very accurate. node is negative is a very good news that will make the cancer early stage and hopefully cureable ...Read more

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Are antibiotics required after a sentinel lymph node biopsy?

No: I would think that generally the answer is no as the type of surgery is minimally invasive. However, the surgeon performing the procedure will make that decision by using his best judgment. ...Read more

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Does a lymph node biopsy require the lymph node to be removed entirely?

No: Lymph nodes can be biopsied using fna (fine needle aspiration), but it is easier to take the entire node out, subtotal or wedge biopies may not heal and leave larger scars. ...Read more

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How is a popliteal lymph node biopsy performed?

The popliteal: Space is the pocket behind the knee. There are lymph nodes in this area. A surgeon would numb the skin and tissue and remove the lymph node for pathologic study. ...Read more

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What does it mean if my doc wants a lymph node biopsy?

Excision: A lymph node biopsy is usually recommended because a lymph nofe is enlarged. Three general types of biopsies can be done... An fna (fine needle aspiration)... This provides clusters of cells a pathologist will look at to make a diagnosis. The second is an incisional where a portion of the lymph node is taken. The third is excisional where the entire lymph node is taken. ...Read more

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Which types of cancers does a lymph node biopsy detect?

Lymphatic spread: Any cancer that has spread into lymphatic system and has reached the lymph node can be detected by lymph node biopsy. Then there are primary cancers of the lymphatic system which can also be easily diagnosed with biopsy. ...Read more

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How long do lymph node biopsy results take to come back?

~48hrs: Most basic pathology results from a biopsy should be available in ~48hrs. The tissue needs to fix in formalin for a particular amount of time (6hrs-overnight) then be processed, slides made and stained, then interpreted. Each of these steps takes time. Additional staining or deeper cuts for furthe evaluation/markers may add another day before the full results are back. ...Read more

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Dr. Morton Levitt
120 doctors shared insights

Lymph Node Biopsy (Definition)

There are many causes of enlarged lymph nodes, and sometimes the best way to understand why is to have a doctor obtain tissue from the enlarged lymph node. A pathologist can then look at the biopsy and help determine why it is enlarged. The most common cause is infection, but it is important to rule out cancer as a possible cause. Good treatments are possible once ...Read more


Dr. Creighton Wright
2 doctors shared insights

Biopsy (Definition)

Biopsy is tissue removed by needle or cutting to remove part of a body part. It is usually a small amount of material that is processed by a pathologist. Most of the time it is stained and looked at through a microscope to arrive at a diagnosis. Special processes are done for some tissues or problems. The purpose is to tell what the problem is (diagnosis). ...Read more