November 29, 2015
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Sentinel-Lymph-Node Biopsy

What is a sentinel lymph node biopsy?

The sentinel lymph node is the first lymph node ("lymph gland") to receive lymphatic drainage from a tumor. It stands sentinel over the tumor, so to speak. The biopsy is performed to determine tumor cells existing.

What is the lymphatic drainage?

Lymphatic systrem refers to a collection of vessels that, like the system of blood vessels, circulates fluid through the tissues. The lymnphatic drainage refers to the manner in which tissue fluid, or lymph, is draned from the body and returns to a central location - in this case, a lymph gland. The lymph fluid looks milky.

Why do a biopsy of the sentinel node?

Examination of the sentinel node ("gland") is performed to learn whether that node does or does not have tumor cells within it. The biopsy is performed to verify any existing tumor cells.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/6/2015


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