Is there a role for sentinel node biopsy in the pre-operative ultrasound positive axilla?
Ahmed M., Jozsa F., Douek M.
Axillary management in breast cancer is becoming increasingly conservative. This approach is based on the identification of low axillary burden on sentinel node biopsy (SNB). The modern practice of routine pre-operative axillary ultrasound has meant that patients are 'fast tracked' to axillary node clearance (ANC) in the presence of a histologically confirmed positive axilla. This practice reduces the number of patients undergoing SNB compared to the original trials, which evaluated the role of SNB, and those assessing safety of omission of ANC in low axillary burden. The risk of depriving patients with low axillary burden the opportunity to avoid ANC as a consequence of pre-operative ultrasound is discussed.