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Revista chilena de cirugía

On-line version ISSN 0718-4026


ESCUDERO M, Nicolás et al. Impact of sentinel lymph node metastases in the treatment of breast cancer. Rev Chil Cir [online]. 2014, vol.66, n.1, pp.45-51. ISSN 0718-4026.

Introduction: The importance of sentinel lymph nodes (SL) metastasis at breast cancer patients has been questioned and observation without axillary dissection (AD) associated with adjuvant therapies has been the recommendation in recent years. Objective: To evaluate the macro (MA), micro (MI) and submicrometastasis (SM) of breast cancer in SL, and their impact on the posterior AD. Methods: We reviewed results of biopsies from patients with invasive breast cancer with MA, MI and SM found in the SL operated at our institution between May 1999 and December 2011. Results: We found 134 patients with MA, 33 patients with MI and 30 patients with SM, in a total of 632 patients with invasive breast cancer in those who underwent SL. These were operated 130, 24 and 17 patients respectively. The frequency of no sentinels lymph nodes (NSL) with metastases found on AD was 46.9% (61/130) for MA, 33.3% (8/24) for MI and 23.5% (4/17) for SM. The NSL metastasis from MA modified the TNM in 26.9% (35/130), those from MI in 20.8% (5/24) patients, while the SM only modified in one patient (5.9%). Conclusions: The frequency of lymph nodal involvement in AD is significantly higher in patients with MA. The number of AD without clear therapeutic input is high and increases with decreasing size of SL metastases. The results support to not perform AD in patients with MI and SM in the SL, who received conservative surgery and adjuvant therapy.

Keywords : Breast cancer; sentinel lymph node biopsy; micrometastases; submicrometastasis; axillary lymph node dissection.

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