If you're diagnosed with lymph node-positive breast cancer, it means cancer has spread from the original tumor to the nearest lymph nodes , which are under your arm. When breast cancer spreads to lymph nodes it has essentially declared its intent to metastasize. These cancers, if left alone, would likely spread throughout the body. Breast cancer starts out with just a few cells, which group together in your breast tissue and may camp out in the ducts and lobes.
The Role of Lymph Nodes in Breast Cancer
Sentinel lymph node - Wikipedia
Background: Intraoperative diagnosis of breast cancer metastases in axillary sentinel nodes is desirable to avoid a second operation for lymphadenectomy. Imprint or touch-preparation cytology is a popular technique that has high specificity and a wide range of sensitivity. Methods: A systematic search of electronic databases was performed. Included articles were assessed for methodological and reporting quality. Random-effects model pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity were calculated. Single-variable and multivariable meta-regression analyses were performed for predictors of sensitivity.
The Who, What, Where, When and Sometimes, Why.
Lymph node status shows whether or not the lymph nodes in the underarm area axillary lymph nodes contain cancer:. Prognosis is better when cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes lymph node-negative [ 13 ]. The more lymph nodes that contain cancer, the poorer prognosis tends to be [ 13 ]. The number of positive nodes guides treatment and helps predict prognosis chances for survival.
Sentinel node biopsy is a surgical procedure doctors use to see whether early-stage breast cancer has spread beyond the tumor and into the lymphatic system. The sentinel nodes are the first lymph nodes a cancer is expected to move into. If there is evidence of malignancy there, there is a known possibility of it spreading to other parts of the body as the cancer cells circulate in lymphatic fluid. It's often performed alongside surgery for breast cancer but may also be done on its own. It's also commonly used for melanoma and is being investigated for use in other cancers.