What is a sentinel lymph node biopsy?

A sentinel lymph node biopsy is a take a look at that checks lymph nodes for cancer cells. Lymph nodes are aspect of the lymphatic system, a community of organs and vessels that enable the system battle infections and other health conditions. Lymph nodes are located all through the system, like the underarms, neck, upper body, stomach, and groin.

Specific cancers, this sort of as breast cancer and melanoma (the most unsafe form of pores and skin cancer), can unfold as a result of the lymphatic system. Cancers unfold when cells crack off from the authentic tumor and are carried to other areas of the system. The sentinel lymph node is the very first node exactly where these varieties of cancers are most very likely to unfold. The node is commonly located close to the web site of the authentic tumor. In some cases there is far more than a single sentinel lymph node.

A sentinel lymph node biopsy can present 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