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October 2010

Micrometastasis and Axillary Dissection in Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Rehabilitation Associate of Illinois, Loves Park, Illinois.

Arch Surg. 2010;145(10):1022-1023. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2010.214

The article by Wasif et al1 published in the February 2010 issue of the Archives has brought another controversial issue to readers as well as to breast oncologists and breast oncologic surgeons. This issue has been dealt with in detail in a recent Consensus Conference III of an interdisciplinary group of physicians who are involved in the treatment of breast diseases.2 This elite group of physicians feels that micrometastasis currently warrants neither axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) nor any adjuvant treatment, based on the fact that micrometastasis does not have an additional risk of axillary failure. These 2 scientific articles raise important questions for both academic and nonacademic breast surgeons:

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