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WHAT IS SENTINEL NODE BIOPSY?

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Sentinel node is the first node that is involved in the drainage of tumours within the primary lymphatic basin of N0 neck.

This technique mainly involves an injection of radionuclide at the primary site and the patient is then imaged in an attempt to identify the sentinel node. once this is identified, it can be removed and evaluated using conventional serial sectioning and staining with H or E and/or immunocytochemistry to confirm or to rule out the presence of the metastatic disease.

node

This technique has been mainly used for:

  • Non-head and neck melanoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma recently but controversial.

RELATED QUESTIONS

WHAT ARE THE CONTROVERSIS OR INHERENT PROBLEMS WITH SENTINEL NODE BIOPSY?

The exact nature of the head and neck lymphatic drainage remains unclear

  • Skip metastasis do occur
  • Collateral channels are often present
  • This techniques violates an oncologically significant area
  • This techniques when assessing the parotid nodes carries an inherent risk of facial nerve damage
  • This technique is an operator dependent.
  • This only has a role in the treatment of T1N0 disease within the oral cavity and oropharynx.
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