What is a sentinel lymph node biopsy?

A sentinel lymph node biopsy is a exam that checks lymph nodes for cancer cells. Lymph nodes are aspect of the lymphatic method, a community of organs and vessels that enable the overall body fight infections and other diseases. Lymph nodes are positioned through the overall body, together with the underarms, neck, upper body, abdomen, and groin.

Sure cancers, these kinds of as breast cancer and melanoma (the most unsafe form of pores and skin cancer), can distribute through the lymphatic method. Cancers distribute when cells break off from the original tumor and are carried to other areas of the overall body. The sentinel lymph node is the 1st node where by these forms of cancers are most very likely to distribute. The node is usually positioned around the site of the original tumor. In some cases there is extra than just one sentinel lymph node.

A sentinel lymph node biopsy can exhibit how very likely it is that your cancer is spreading (metastasizing).

Other names: lymph node biopsy, sentinel node biopsy, sentinel lymph node mapping and biopsy