Sentinel Node procedure for DCIS

Kevin Fox, MD
Last Modified: January 20, 2002

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Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I am 45 years old, I have DCIS. I am scheduled for a lumpectomy. I have two different opinions on the sentinel node procedure. I am very afraid of the side effects. Is there any benefit to this?  


Kevin Fox, MD Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

There is ongoing controversy regarding the sentinel node procedure in patients with DCIS. The policy at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is that the sentinel node procedure should not be done in patients with DCIS because the risk of tumor spread to lymph nodes is extremely low. In the case of invasive carcinoma, sentinel lymph node biopsy may be performed by surgeons trained in the procedure as an alternative to immediate axillary lymph node disection.

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