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Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (cont.)

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What are the side effects and complications of a sentinel lymph node biopsy?

The most common side effects are short-term bruising, pain, or swelling at the surgical site. As with any surgery, bleeding and infection are possible complications. Another possible risk is a false-negative result, which means that tumor cells are present but not detected by the procedure. Studies with breast cancer patients have shown false-negative rates of around 10%.

Is the use of the sentinel lymph node biopsy common?

Yes. Sentinel lymph node biopsy has, for example, become a standard technique for determining the nodal stage of the disease in some patients with malignant melanoma and with breast cancer. The use of sentinel node biopsy is still being investigated with other types of cancer.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/29/2016


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