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Management of the regional lymph nodes in breast cancer

Seth P Harlow, MD
Donald L Weaver, MD
Section Editors
Anees B Chagpar, MD, MSc, MA, MPH, MBA, FACS, FRCS(C)
Daniel F Hayes, MD
Lori J Pierce, MD
Deputy Editor
Wenliang Chen, MD, PhD


The lymphatic drainage pathways of the breast (axillary, internal mammary [IM], and supraclavicular nodal groups) are the regional areas most likely to be involved with metastatic breast cancer.

The risk of metastatic breast cancer to regional lymph nodes, the preoperative assessment of the axilla, and the indications and extent of an axillary dissection, as well as complications are reviewed in this topic. The techniques for performing a sentinel lymph node dissection, an axillary dissection, and the management of the axilla in the clinical setting of a mastectomy are discussed elsewhere.

(See "Overview of sentinel lymph node biopsy in breast cancer".)

(See "Sentinel lymph node biopsy in breast cancer: Techniques".)

(See "Technique of axillary lymph node dissection".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Mar 02, 2017.
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