Revista Colombiana de Cirugía
Print version ISSN 2011-7582
RESTREPO, Carlos et al. Experience with the sentinel node technique in breast cancer in Medellín, Colombia. rev. colomb. cir. [online]. 2011, vol.26, n.1, pp. 25-32. ISSN 2011-7582.
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer and an important cause of mortality in the female population. A key component of breast cancer therapy is the staging of regional lymph nodes via complete axillary lymph node dissection, which carries substantial morbidity. Nevertheless morbidity has significantly been reduced by implementing the technique of the sentinel lymph node biopsy. Objective: Description of results obtained with the technique of sentinel lymph node biopsy in breast cancer surgery in a breast pathology center in Medellín, Colombia. Methods: Retrospective study in which the medical records of 164 patients with early stage breast cancer were review and placed in a data base on Microsoft Office Excel® and statistically analyzed with the program SPSS 13®. Results: 86% of patients were sentinel lymph node negative on imprint and 82.3% on final pathology; 4.3% were false negative (3.5% due to micro-metastasis) and no false positive results were found. 17% of patients required complete axillary lymph node dissection of which 78% had no evidence of disease on final pathology. The most frequently found histological type was the Infiltrating ductal carcinoma, which also had the most sentinel lymph node positive pathology results (78.3%). 90% of patients with positive sentinel lymph nodes were also positive for estrogen and progesterone receptors. Conclusion: sentinel lymph node biopsy is a good alternative for the management of early staged breast cancer given that it prevents patients from invasive surgery that carries substantial morbidity and mortality. A negative sentinel lymph node gives the physician security that there aren’t other lymph nodes involved.
Keywords : sentinel lymph node biopsy; breast neoplasms; carcinoma; ductal; breast; lymph node excision.