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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.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s10549-017-4313-6

Type

Journal article

Journal

Breast Cancer Res Treat

Publication Date

09/2017

Volume

165

Pages

225 - 228

Keywords

Axillary node clearance, Axillary ultrasound, Breast cancer, Low axillary burden, Sentinel node biopsy, Axilla, Breast Neoplasms, Female, Humans, Lymph Nodes, Preoperative Care, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, Ultrasonography