Standard staging. The staging of invasive breast cancer almost always involves assessing the axillary nodes as the most likely 1st place cancer cells can be found outside he breast. Today this is dine via sentinel node mapping/bx to identify, remove, and test the first nod in the chain that will predict the status of the rest. On average just over 2nodes-procedure are removed.
Yes. Very common surgical procedure for women with early breast cancer. Procedure removes one or a few lymph glands under the arm or axilla, rather than remove all the lymph nodes. The pathologist then tests those few lymph nodes to be sure breast cancer did not spread.
I have. I have, but for melanoma. The morning of the surgery I went to nuclear medicine and they injected a radiotracer. I sat there and then they took pictures to locate the node. Then in the operating room, I was injected with blue dye and a small incision was made under my arm to locate the node. I was sore for a couple weeks but healed very well. You will also urinate blue for a day afterwards!