Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for DCIS

Kevin R. Fox, MD
Last Modified: October 27, 2002

Question:

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I have ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in-situ (LCIS) in my left breast. My surgeon has recommended a total mastectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy (slnb). I am concerned that the procedure is not necessary.

Answer:

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

Unfortunately, there is a substantial difference of opinion regarding sentinel lymph node biopsy (slnb) in patients with DCIS. Sentinel lymph node biopsy may be performed on patients with large areas of DCIS. Any patient should have a second opinion if they are unsure about the procedure and recommendations from their physicians. In fact, most good physicians welcome a second opinion. There is no emergency regarding the mastectomy for DCIS so you do have some time to have additional consultations.

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