Axillary lymph node dissection may not be necessary in the treatment of many patients with early-stage breast cancer.
Researchers at Duke University report in this month's Journal of Clinical Oncology on a decision model they developed to evaluate the procedure in patients with early-stage disease whose nodes were disease-free on physical examinations. The model combines clinical trial results with data on cancer rates and survival to determine the benefit of knowing lymph node status in terms of prolonging survival and quality of life.
Voelker R. Reconsider Lymph Node Surgery. JAMA. 1999;281(20):1882. doi:10.1001/jama.281.20.1882-JQU90003-2-1